Nigeria Customs Service To Boost E-Customs Platform For Effective Border Policing

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), as part of its technological advancement geared towards adopting international best practices in its operations, has perfected plans to launch a newly designed electronic platform called e-Customs.

The e-Customs, which is an end-to-end electronic flow of Customs processes, will serve as a paradigm shift from paper or manual work processes to automated e-flows for bettering the lives of the citizen and to securing the lives and properties of the nation.

While disclosing this recently, Hameed Ali, comptroller general of Customs, said the deployment of technology would go a long way in enhancing the activities of the service and also help in changing the NCS operations.

According to an online video by the Nigeria Customs Broadcasting Network (NCBN), a copy of which was shared with newsmen by Joseph Attah, national public relations officer of the Customs, the benefit of the e-Customs include helping to boost revenue collection and improving the security of the borders by controlling the security of import and export goods.

It is also expected that the platform will help in reducing evasion of duties and smuggling, and also enable Nigeria Customs to produce accurate economic statistics, the NCBN stated.

“E-Customs platform will also bring all players involved in international trade including traders, agencies and inspectors together under one platform. And its non-intrusive component will boost the capacity of Customs to better police the porous borders and ensure better monitoring of what comes in or goes out”, NCBN further said.

At the full launch of the e-Customs, the platform will be accessible on web and mobile apps through the Customs website.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the engagement of a consortium of four firms to enter into a 20-year concession arrangement with the NCS and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for Customs modernisation project and establishment of digital as well as paperless Customs administration.

The consortium of four firms include Bionica Technologies West Africa Limited as lead sponsor, Bergman Security Consultant & Supplies Limited as co-sponsor, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), lead sponsor, and Huawei, lead technical service provider, and are they expected to establish a project special purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement the project.

According to the Presidential directive, the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) and Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) revenue-sharing arrangement between the SPV and government must commence with immediate effect on a pro-rata basis against the phase one of the $300 million investment programme.

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Development