The House of Representatives has mandated the committees on Finance, Banking and Customs to invite the Central Bank Governor, the Minister of Finance, Comptroller General of Customs, Managing Director of Adani Mega Systems Ltd in order to resolve the delay for the take-off of the E-customs project.
The committees are expected to complete their investigations and report to the House within 4 weeks
This was sequel to a motion promoted by Hon Leke Abejide entitled:’URGENT NEED TO RESOLVE THE DEBACLE BETWEEN CBN TECHNOLOGICAL COMMITTEE ON CISS AND ADANI MEGA SYSTEMS LTD HINDERING THE TAKE-OFF OF NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE E-CUSTOMS MODERNISATION PROJECT’.
In his presentation, Abejide noted that “the CBN Technical Committee on Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) had an agreement with Adani Mega Systems Ltd to engage the latter as Service Provider/Vendor for screening service infrastructure for the inspection of all inbound and outbound cargo in Nigeria.
He explained that ” in the said letter of engagement dated its1h February 2017, also stated its statutory mandate to manage and supervise the project (as provided in Sections 13(1),15(i), and 5 of Pre-Shipment Inspection of Export Act, and Pre-Shipment Inspect of Imports Act).
” The company is expected to “Build, Operate, and Own Agreement between the Technical Committee on CISS (on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria) and Adani Mega Systems Ltd in relation to the provision of the scanning services infrastructures (scanners) required for all operations was sealed and a certificate of “NO OBJECTION” was granted by the BPP after evaluating the profile of the company.
“The level of engagement had reached the turning point whereby Adani Mega Systems Ltd had procured necessary equipment to commence the E-Customs projects as provided for in the contract but since 13th July 2017, the project had stalled without a solution in sight, further causing tremendous revenue loss to the Federal Government which according to the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, had earlier appraised of having the potential of yielding Up to $176 billion over the course of the 20 year concession period.
“And at the moment, Nigeria Customs Service still remain in the analogue era of conducting 100% physical examination which in itself is a major cause of congestion to our Ports and greater loss of revenue to our dear country.
“The dispute between the two parties is at such a time of alarming rate at the entry of undetected Arms and Ammunition into the country’s Ports and Border Stations as a result of no functional scanners.
Stressing that “the 2022 Budget provided for N3.9 Trillion for debt servicing alone, and this is asides repayment of principal. If the E-Customs is allowed to take off by settling the issues between the FGN and ADANl the issue of borrowing that be reduced to the barest minimum, if not eradicated, because the Nigeria Customs Service would be able to generate twice, if not thrice, of what is currently being generated. Despite all these obstacles, there is the possibility of NCS to generate over N2 Trillion this year 2021.
Abejide explained to his colleagues “that for the interest of the country and to reduce country’s debt profile, the lingering crisis between the Federal Government through the CBN Technical Committee on CISS and Adani Mega Systems Ltd need to be urgently resolved.
Customs, UN agency collaborate to fight smuggling
“On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign — and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely.”
He appreciated how they traveled from afar to inform the Nigeria Customs Service of their campaign against smuggling, which, according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has already started yielding positive results in suppressing the menace of smuggling.
The CGC also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service has already started embracing technology to advance its work by introducing related courses to officers.
The CGC appreciated the collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN—Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future.
He also appreciated their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through a technological approach.
He underscored the importance of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.
On his part, the Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”
According to him, they decided to visit the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service.
He appreciated the Service for being a “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.
UN-Habitat is the United Nations entity responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into action to create sustainable cities and promote viable urban development and adequate shelter for all.
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Nigeria, Republic of Benin deepen cross-border trade facilitation
Adeniyi made this known on Tuesday, 12th September 2023, when he officially received Senior Officers of Benin Customs, led by their Director-General, Alain Hinkati, at the Nigeria Customs Headquarters Abuja, in continuation of their two-day interactive session.
Other areas that the partnership will address include enhancing the proper use of International Transit Guidelines to govern transit-bound goods and fees from Cotonou Port to Nigeria and integration of Nigeria into the Interconnected System for the Management of Goods in Transit.
The Customs boss further highlighted that the treaty between the two Agencies “will prepare the way for an in-depth mechanism to harmonize the import prohibition lists of products banned by the two countries.
“In view of our commitment to curb smuggling and unlawful trade through our borders, we deemed it necessary to meet and form a strong agreement that will support our strategic plans to implement technological-base measures of clearing and tracking of items at our borders.”
The Ag. CGC, however, affirmed that the Nigeria Customs Service has concluded plans to promote good relations with border communities with a view to actualizing full participation of private sectors and frameworks of border Customs Units.
Speaking further, the Ag. CGC appreciated the Benin Customs and Embassy of the country for expressing interest in collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service to enhance trade facilitation.
“The Customs administration in both countries have a very good idea and technical know-how on what it means with trade; thus, we are back with a renewed enthusiasm to foster our relationship and make an impact on our trade facilitation roadmap.
“We hope that the program will address the issues of trade and set a roadmap for the implementation of new strategies that will enhance the economy and revenue in Nigeria and Benin Republic.”
The Director General of the Benin Republic Customs, Alain Hinkati, said, “It is our hope that the program will address the issues of trade and set a roadmap for implementation of new strategies that will enhance the economy and revenue in Nigeria and Benin Republic.”
According to him, the two organizations need to develop ideas to address transit issues and other progressive measures.
He said with the increasing global security challenges, the need for both customs administrations to work in synergy cannot be over-emphasized, adding that their intended mutualism will boost their relationship to improve the economy of both nations.
Meanwhile, the joined communique signed by the Ag. Comptroller-General of the Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and Director-General of the Bennese Customs, Alain Hinkati, highlighted that their meeting favours the desire of the two countries’ presidents: Bola Ahmad Tinubu and Patrice Talon to strengthen the shared commitment to enhancing trade facilitation and promoting economic development.
Other areas that will benefit the countries are fostering closer ties to Nigeria and Benin and reactivating the joint committee for monitoring trade and transit relations.
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