Fifteen years after the birth of the controversial ASYCUDA++/World in Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will formally take over the project from the consortium managing the project in December 2021.
The ASYCUDA++/World in Nigeria generates ?14,000,000,000.00 every year for the country from charges imposed on imports and exports passing though the country’s borders.
To manage the transition, the federal government on August 16, 2018 inaugurated a Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) to mid-wife the seamless handover of the ICT project to NCS by Webb Fontaine Limited (WFL).
The TIC in turn advised the government to setting up of a Transition Steering Committee (TSC) and a Transition Monitoring Team (TMT) to implement the recommendations of the TIC.
Speaking at the inauguration of the two Steering and Monitoring Committees in Abuja yesterday, the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed represented by the Permanent Secretary Mr. Aliyu Ahmed said “the infrastructure was to ensure the integrity of our export and import as well as enhance revenue collection”.
Mrs Ahmed stated that “the project was initiated to build an integrated customs information system on a Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of seven years which was subsequently extended on two occasions (1st Extension-1st January 2013 for 6 months, and 2nd Extension – 28th June, 2013 with no terminal date)”.
“At the commencement of the contract, an addendum to the BOOT agreement was signed in May, 2006, to cap the amount of Nigeria’s Import Freight on Board (FOB) chargeable by WFL to ?14,000,000,000.00 in any given calendar year for the period of the contract, which in turn brought WFL’s maximum chargeable fee to $58,800,000.00 in any given year”, Zainab Ahmed disclosed.
In spite of the two extensions, the finance minister stated that “WFL has continued to provide services to FGN after 2013 till date”.
She also added that “WFL has successfully developed and deployed the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS 1 & 2) which presently enables Nigeria to facilitate trade and boost its revenue collection”.
Webb Fontaine Limited is the Special Purpose Vehicle incorporated in Nigeria by Webb Fontaine Consortium (WFC) to carry out the services under the contract.
From today, the Transition Monitoring Team (TMT), will monitor the implementation of the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) services provided by Webb Fontaine Nigeria Limited (WFNL) to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), according to the Project Plan.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting of the Transition Programme shall be performed by measuring WFNL’S performance, against the Key Performance Indicators (KPls) provided under the Transition Agreement.
It will ensure the complete replacement of all outstanding Legacy Systems and Technologies, Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA++ Components) with Trade World Manager (TWM) Customs Systems and Trade Portal Components, for the Trade Community:
The Committee will see to the continued maintenance and operations of the current Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS), and related infrastructure, on-going sites renovations, improvement of operational conditions for staff and installation of modern IT and Telecom Equipment).
The Transition Monitoring Team (TMT) will ensure that WFNL provides a realistic and robust Capacity Building Programme, to ensure that NCS possesses adequate capacity, to enable seamless takeover of the ICT Infrastructure from WFNL, on behalf of the Federal Government
Webb Fontaine Nigeria Limited will provide and implement a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), and an Off-site Disaster Recovery Centre (DRC) that is operational and fully maintained over the Transition period.
Monitoring and Evaluation of performance of the obligations of WFNL as defined under the Transition Agreement, shall be conducted monthly by the committee so that the ICT Services provided by WFNL is handed over to the NCS on 31 December, 2021.
Source: The Nation