Over $300m already invested in e-Customs modernisation, Comptroller-General claims
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, said over $300 million has been invested in the e-Customs project, which he said would take off soon.
Ali spoke to journalists, yesterday, during his visit to the NCS training college in Ikeja, Lagos, while fielding questions on the controversy surrounding the $3.2 billion project.
The Customs boss said he was surprised by the controversy generated by the modernisation project, which he described as straightforward. He said Customs laid the foundation in 2015, because of the need to bring the operation to par with international standards.
According to him, most customs administrations operate a paperless operation, hence, the NCS went through all the rigour of getting concessionaires for the project. He disclosed that some concessionaires and people involved in the project dropped out, while the NCS continued to ensure the project comes to reality.
He said: “There are so many stories about court cases and how we were going to waste $3.62 billion. No, this is a public-private partnership project and these guys are going to earn their money from what we collect.
“It is not that the government is going to take anything out of the project, it is going to come from customs collection, and we are going to finance this, while they give us the service to get more revenue, we also have to give them and pay. They are going to deploy their money, and they have to recoup their money. As of today, they have put over $300 million on the ground to be able to get to where we are,” he explained.
He said the agency has carried everyone along and sensitised them to ensure there will be no problem with this modernisation project.
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