The acting Assistant Comptroller-General (ACG) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in charge of ICT/ Modernisation, Aliyu Saidu, has defended the Federal Government’s decision to embark on E-Customs Project, saying it would boost the fight against smuggling and cybercrime as well as ensuring the safety of life at the borders.
Saidu, who tipped the service to rank among the world’s best because of the project, said it would also enhance international trade, blocking loopholes in government’s revenue collection and generation drive.
According to him, the Federal Government has been applauded by other countries for the project, which involves using technology to drive all processes and procedures in the service.
Speaking at an event tagged Customs Duty in Abuja, the (ACG) said the project would also enhance the e-payment system, unified customs management system, risk control centre, electric cargo tracking system, centralised risk management, and office automation system.
He said it would strengthen the service’s capacity for information sharing with other agencies.
Saidu, who faulted critics of the project, denied it is aimed at taking over the functions of the service by the concessionaire.
He said CS officers would be involved in the running of the project despite the concession, adding that it would boost their capacity and increase their productivity.
Saidu said: “E-Customs is an integration of Customs application processes, platform, hardware involving all-in-one nationwide import, export, excise, and office management under one digital platform. In addition to this, it is a solution to facilitate processes of licensing clearance, cargo management, revenue collection, and payment.
“The automation of Customs’ procedures has been a key component in Customs reform and modernisation globally. It is not only peculiar to developing nations, but these initiatives and support across the globe have also been facilitated and emphasised by international donor organisations like the World Trade Organisation, World Customs Organisation, and other organisations globally.”
The ACG said the project would provide the NCS the best technology to support the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
According to him, the border stations, seaports, and airports will be fitted with scanners to facilitate the clearance of goods and passengers.