The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday 22nd of July 2022 vacated the interim order that has for the past few weeks, stalled the $3.2billion Nigeria Customs Service Modernisation project, following a suit instituted by Bionica Technologies (West Africa) Limited.
Recall that a frontline freight forwarding expert, Dr Segun Musa had recently in an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND stated that the court restraining order would be vacated soon to give way for commencement of the customs modernisation project.
Dr Musa also said that when it commences, the project would expose a lot of corruption in the Nigeria Customs Service, including ghost workers.
“We are also engaging the National Assembly. The people that approached the court for this injunction failed to substantiate why they are kicking against it, they only abused privileges of the Judiciary. If you look at their arguments, it holds no merit and content” Dr Musa who is a Deputy President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) had stated.
Vacating the order, Justice I.E. Ekwo ruled that while the interim order, which he granted to the plaintiffs on June 17, 2022 had expired, it was necessary for the court to formally make a pronouncement to vacate the order.
Recall, that a Nigerian Company, Trade Modernization Project Limited signed a 20-year concession agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 30th of May, 2022 with the aim of improving the business processes of the Service.
The Company, which is a special purpose Vehicle, is working with Huawei Technologies Limited as the Lead Technical Partner and the Africa Finance Cooperation as the lead financier for the project.
According to Justice Ekwo, it was important to discontinue the order, as it was affecting the revenue collection of the Federal Government.
The annulment of the order means that the very important project, as part of the Federal Government’s effort to diversify the Economy can now proceed without further hindrance.
The $3.2 billion e-Customs project to be financed by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and managed by Huawei Technologies Limited under a 20-year concession window. When fully implemented, it is expected that it would quadruple Customs’ current N210 billion monthly revenue collection.