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June 23, 2024

Customs’ Trade Modernisation Project Set to Generate $250 Billion for Nigerian Government

By Muhammad Bashir

The General Manager of the Trade Modernisation Project (TMP), Ahmad Ogunshola, on Tuesday 4th June, 2024, expressed optimism that the Customs Modernisation Project will yield significant economic benefits to Nigeria, especially in the area of revenue generation.

During a media tour of the Project Management Office of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Trade Modernisation Project, at the Management Quarters in Abuja, Ahmad said “The project will generate over $250 billion for the government throughout the concession period.”

According to him, the project holds a major advantage of enhancing the modernity of geneating revenue through technological advancements, “which will be of great benefit to the Federal Government.”

TMP involves the automation of NCS business processes, aimed at simplifying and enhancing stakeholder experiences in the trade value chain. This includes streamlined procedures for obtaining import and export clearances, paying duties, and releasing goods.

He revealed that the modernization would bring Nigeria on par with global standards in technology deployment for international trade facilitation. The project also supports the Federal Government’s economic diversification agenda by easing cross-border trading.

Ogunshola emphasized that the fully implemented TMP would cover all customs activities, including duties collection, clearance operations, and anti-smuggling efforts.

Speaking to newsmen during the tour, the National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, said that the media tour aimed to update the public on TMP’s progress, which began several years ago to enhance trade facilitation.

NCS has partnered with Trade Modernisation Project Limited to introduce advanced Gantry Scanners, capable of processing 200 containers per hour. This initiative, led by Comptroller-General Adewale Adeniyi, aims to reduce container clearance and document processing times significantly.

“The goal is to streamline the entire process, making it faster and more efficient,” said Ogunshola. The modernization project, located within the NCS Management Estate in Abuja, leverages IT expertise to create a seamless system for export and import transactions.

The 20-year concession is structured into three phases:

1. Phase 1 (Years 1-6): Deployment of systems, including hardware, software, and technology services.
2. Phase 2 (Years 7-13): Management, maintenance, and replacement of systems as needed.
3. Phase 3 (Years 14-20): Transition of system management to NCS officers, with TMP providing support and training.

Corroborating, Chief Superintendent of Customs Usman Abba highlighted the new system’s benefits, allowing importers to remotely monitor goods clearance processes. “The system will provide real-time tracking, reducing fraudulent activities by agents,” added Abdullahi Maiwada, NCS National Public Relations Officer.

This advanced technology deployment is expected to transform Nigerian ports into efficient and competitive trade hubs, aligning them with international standards.

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