Reps summon finance minister, CBN governor, CG Customs over delayed $3.1billion e-Customs project
The House of Representatives has resolved to summon the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, over the e-Customs project.
Also, the Chairman Technical Committee on CISS and Managing Director of Adani Mega Systems Ltd are to appear before the legislators.
The House resolved to invite the aforementioned persons following a motion of urgent public importance, moved the Chairman House Committee on Customs, Leke Abejide (ADC, Kogi), on Thursday.
The E-customs project has been embroiled in litigation since 2018.
Adani System Limited reportedly signed an agreement with the CBN Technical Committee on Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) for the modernisation of customs.
However, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), in 2020, announced the same project to be concessioned to E. Customs HC Projects Nigeria Limited for 20 years.
Ms Ahmed, who made the announcement after the FEC meeting, listed sponsors of the project as Bionica Technologies West Africa Limited, and Bargman Securities and Supplies Nigeria Limited.
She also listed the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as the lead financier and Huawei Technology as a technical service provider.
Adani Mega System filed a suit against the federal government at the Federal High Court Abuja with suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/850/2017 in 2018.
Mr Abejide said the Build, Operate, and Own Agreement was signed between the Technical Committee on Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) Adani Mega Systems Ltd in 2017.
He said Adani Mega System Limited procured necessary equipment to commence the e-Customs projects as provided for in the contract as far back as 2017.
He said the dispute between Adani Mega system limited and the federal government is stalling the project.
Mr Abejide lamented the state of revenue collection by NSC, which according to him, is still analogue, which is prone to leakages.
“For the interest of the country and to reduce the country’s debt profile, the lingering crisis between the federal government through the CBN Technical Committee on CISS and Adani Mega Systems Ltd needs to be urgently resolved,” he said.
Consequently, the House mandated its Committees on Customs & Excise, Finance, Banking and Currency to invite the listed entities with the aim of resolving all issues delaying the take-off of the project.
The committee was mandated to report progress within four weeks.
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