Prez Muhammadu Buhari and Prez Akufo-Addo
NIGERIA HAS also turned to Korea to provide it with a full end-to-end automation of Nigeria’s customs service.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this at the end of a virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting recently in Abuja.
She said the deal, to be funded by a private investor, comes at a cost US$3.1 billion for a period of 20 years on a ‘Build, Operate and Transfer’ (BOT) basis.
Ms. Ahmed said the revenue expected from the automation was pegged at US$176 billion.
She stated that the successes of the Korean Customs Management Systems in Africa and other parts of the world was what influenced the Nigerian authorities to turn their attention to Korea to help prevent the huge revenue leakages at Nigeria’s points of entry.
In May, the Daily Times reported that the Federal Executive Council approved N623.7 million for the Nigeria Customs Service to buy computers for its zonal and area commands. The Minister of Finance presented a memo for the award of contract for 1,200 units of coloured printers and desktop computers for human resources and accounting management systems across zones and area commands of the Nigeria Customs Service, which was approved.
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information, who made this known to journalists in May, said, “The sum of the contract was N623,700,000 for the 1,200 desktops and computers for the use of the customs service all over the country.”
Persons closer to the deal have disclosed that even though Ghana’s deal included scanning and all other activities that take place at the ports, that of Nigeria excludes scanning, which would be a different contract.
The Korean Customs Management System is certified by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) and is fully operational in Ecuador, Nepal, Mongolia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Dominican Republic and Uzbekistan.
In Africa, Ghana, Tanzania and Cameroun have adopted the technology.
The ICUMS deployed by Ghana’s government with Ghana Link Network Service as technical partners has since June 1, 2020, seen good returns in terms of revenues.
Data from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority GRA shows that customs raised a total revenue of GH¢816.41 million for June 2020 with cargo dropping sharply compared to GH¢851.27 million collected in June 2019 when there was no COVID.
At the Kotoka International Airport KIA, for instance, import duty revenues for June was GH¢55.4 million, going up 20 per cent over the GH¢46 million generated in June 2019, when trade activities were not curtailed by travel and trade restrictions.
Information available also indicates that revenues are rising sharply every month. For instance, revenue from the Aflao border for June was GH¢4,718,082.8, up from just GH¢791,183.50 recorded in March when ICUMS was rolled out at the land borders.
Again, revenue generated in June 2020 from Elubo was GH¢4,038.105.31, also up from GH¢637,462.78 in March 2020.
The Jamestown Customs office in Accra, in March 2020 raised some GH¢9,523,556 in June this year.
The performance of the ICUMS at some border posts including the Kotoka International Airport in June was very impressive.
But it is important to note that with the help of Ghana Link Network Services Ltd’s Chairman, Nick Danso, Ghana got its system for the same price as the Nigerian authorities but for only 10 years with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority being the owners of the system while Ghana Link will provide technical support for the contract period at 0.75 per cent FOB.