Chairman, Trade Modernization Project Limited (TMPL), Alhaji Saleh Ahmadu, has affirmed that the upgrade of custom services is targeted at generating 176 billion dollars for Nigeria.
Ahmadu made the affirmation at a news conference Monday in Abuja, shortly after the signing of a concession agreement for the Nigeria Customs Service modernization project.
The 3.2 billion dollars investment project through multi-stakeholders collaboration is aimed to ease exports and simplify imports, thereby, increasing foreign exchange earnings for the country.
The concession agreement under a Public Private Partnership framework was midwifed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC)
“As the concession period begins, we wish to assure Nigerians that the revenue target of 176 billion dollars for the Federal Government will be achieved, if not surpassed.
“More importantly, we are excited about the real economic benefits for the country, in terms of business growth for exporters and import-dependent businesses.
“Others are improved global supply chains, enhanced industrial capacity utilization and creation of employment opportunities,’’ Ahmadu said.
While explaining that the project was driven by technology, Ahmadu said that there would be more efficiency in the business processes of Nigeria Customs Service.
Similarly, Dr Jummal Umar-Ajijola, the Managing-Director, TMPL, said that the concession agreement for the Service Modernization Project signaled the importance the Federal Government attached to the role of trade in national development.
“Today, Nigeria takes a giant leap to strengthen its readiness for global trade in the 22nd century.
“The rapidly changing human development needs and challenges of globalization require an agile national response.
“This modernization covers the entire operations of the customs service end-to-end, providing a value chain that creates an ecosystem that will facilitate trade not only in Nigeria but on the continent.
“For us at Trade Modernization, we see that that 22nd century just dawned on Nigeria and the world has to follow us with this leap we have taken.
“We are going to bring an initial investment of 3.2 billion dollars into this project.
“The world custom organization is excited about what this means because if you have the Nigerian market you have the African market and if you have the African market you have the global market.
“Africa is over 1.5 billion strong and that kind of number is what we are looking at trapping in terms of trade.
“It simply means that both the import and export processes would be made seamless, there would be accountability, leakages would be blocked and that means more revenue to the government,’’ she said.
Umar-Ajijola further said that the project would create more job opportunities, particularly for the youth.
“There would be a lot of opportunities and a lot of new professions would be created, young people would have jobs since they are the people who drive technology.
“This ecosystem would ensure job generation for the country which of course will lead to sustainable development,’’ she said.