Zainab Ahmed (pictured), the minister of finance, budget and national planning, told journalists on Wednesday that the concession amount is $3.1 billion.

Speaking at the end of the federal executive council meeting, Ahmed said the project would be concessioned for 20 years.

She also said the revenue expected from the automation project is $176 billion.

The council, at its meeting, also approved automation projects for the airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt as part of ongoing airport upgrades.

“The main objective of this project is to completely automate every aspect of the customs business and to institutionalize the use of smart and emerging technologies that will enhance the statutory function of the Nigerian Customs Service in the areas of revenue generation as well as trade facilitation and enhancement of security,” Ahmed said.

“The consortium, the PPP group that has been approved is led by Messers Y Technologies with four other members.

“The Bionica Technologies West Africa Limited, Bargain Securities and Supplies Nigeria Limited, these are lead sponsor and co-sponsor. We also have The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as the lead financier and Huawei Technology as a technical service provider.

“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 there will look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years.”

Commenting on the project, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, said: “The key point is that it is not costing the federal government one thing, the $3.1 billion being proposed will be sourced by the sponsors and the partners”.

The minister said the project will improve Customs’s clearance efficiency, minimise government allocation to the service for tasks already included in the digitisation process.

The process is also expected to eradicate tax and duties’ evasion through e-Port, logistic monitoring and electronic cargo tracking resulting in increased revenue generation.

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