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Reps cry out, say Nigeria losing $8.810b yearly over e-customs project

House of Representatives has said that Nigeria is losing about $8.810 billion annually from the non-implementation of e-Customs modernisation project of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The project is projected to generate about $176.2 billion within the 20 years concession period.

Rep. Leke Abejide, Chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during a public hearing of the Joint Committees on Customs and Excise, Finance and Banking and Currency.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who was represented at the hearing by the Director, Home Finance, Stephen Okon, said that there were pending court cases that had delayed the implementation of the project.

She said that the suits were three and as such the project could not continue, adding that the pending cases were impeding the commencement of the e-Customs Project.

She stated that in order to pave the way for the take-off of the project, the ministry was liaising with the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure that the arbitration was speedily concluded.

According to her, this can settle all the pending matters and allow the e-Customs project to start without further delay.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project when completed is expected to automate the activities of the NCS, streamline the finances and stop revenue leakages.

The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), represented by the Assistant Comptroller General (ICT), Galadima Saidu, said that the matter had been previously heard and dispensed with by the House, wondering why it was reopening it.

He said that the contractor, Adani Mega System Ltd, which was supposed to execute the project, had been relieved of it.

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