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Nigeria okays $3b to automate Customs, N26b for airports, NDLEA, others

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Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari (left); National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja… yesterday… PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA<br />

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, approved $3.1billion to complete the automation of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for a concessionary period of 20 years with no immediate cost to the government.

Addressing State House correspondents after the virtual meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, explained that the funding would solely come from investors under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement, with expected revenue pegged at $176 billion.

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She said the gathering picked Messrs E. Customs HC Project Limited as the concessionaire for the organisation’s modernisation project.

“This is a project that will not have an immediate cost to the government. The investors are providing all of the financings, and this revenue will be deployed in three phases, and they will look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years,” Ahmed clarified.

The e-Customs project began in 2016 when bids were sought by the service.

The council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, also approved an N13.122 billion contract for the upgrade of safe towers at Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Port Harcourt airports.

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The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, added that the analog systems at the gateways would be digitalised, just as weather reports will now be transmitted instantly.

BESIDES, FEC approved N1.1 billion for the acquisition of a 156-room property, belonging to Messrs Chanchangi, to provide accommodation for the staff of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said: “The memo presented by the office of Attorney General and Minister of Justice is related to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

“It is a memo that seeks Council’s approval for the award of contract for the purchase of a property properly-known and described as Plot No. 1123-1129 Cadastral Zone 0607 at Aviation Village, Airport Road, Abuja – a property which consists of 156 rooms in a three-wing two-story building at Aviation Village, Airport Road, Abuja.”

Also, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said his ministry obtained two approvals for a memorandum for emergency work as well as complete work on the Gadan Zaima-Zuru-Gamji road in Kebbi State at the aggregated cost of N11.74 billion.

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