The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Customs and Excise; Finance; Banking and Currency to invite Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Controller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.); and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed over the controversy surrounding the e-Customs project.
The committee is also to invite the Chairman of the CBN Technical Committee on Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme and the Managing Director of Adani Mega Systems Limited ‘in order to resolve the matter for the take-off of the project’.
The panel is to report back to the House within four weeks.
This is sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Chairman of the House Committee on Customs and Excise, Leke Abejide, at the plenary on Thursday.
The motion titled ‘Urgent need to resolve the debacle between CBN Technological Committee on CISS and Adani Mega Systems Ltd hindering the take-off of Nigerian Customs Service E-Customs Modernisation Project.’
Moving the motion, Abejide recalled that the CBN Technical Committee on CISS had an agreement with Adani Mega Systems Ltd to engage the latter as service provider/vendor for screening service infrastructure for the inspection of all inbound and outbound cargo in Nigeria.
Abejide noted that the CBN, in the said letter of engagement dated 16th February, 2017, also stated its statutory mandate to manage and supervise the project, as provided in Sections 13(1),15(i), and 5 of Pre-Shipment Inspection of Export Act, and Pre-Shipment Inspect of Imports Act.
He added that a Build, Operate and Own Agreement between the Technical Committee on CISS – on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and Adani Mega Systems Limited in relation to the provision of the scanning services infrastructure (scanners) required that all operations was sealed and a ‘Certificate of No Objection’ was granted by the Bureau of Public Procurement after evaluating the profile of the company.
The lawmaker said, “The House is also concerned that at the moment, Nigeria Customs Service still remains in the analogue era of conducting 100 per cent physical examination, which in itself is a major cause of congestion at our ports and greater loss of revenue to our dear country.”
Abejide expressed concern that the dispute between the parties was coming at a time when there was an alarming rate of undetected arms and ammunition entering into the country through the ports and border stations due to lack of functional scanners.