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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Customs gets N3.4bn approval for new aircraft to combat smuggling

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The Nigerian Customs Service has been approved to procure a Cessna Caravan aircraft to curb smuggling activities, according to Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba. The federal government granted approval of the sum of N3.4 billion for the procurement of the aircraft to enhance intelligence gathering and provide aerial surveillance and reconnaissance for the Customs across Nigeria’s borders.

Agba explained that the new aircraft will be an addition to the current fleet of the Customs Service and will aid in carrying out air surveillance to combat smuggling activities. Speaking to State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Agba said the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented a couple of memos, which were approved.

The minister disclosed that the Council further approved the implementation of the Nigerian Customs Service Modernization Project. The concessionaire, Bergman Securities Consultant and Suppliers Limited, is the project sponsor, while Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is the lead financier. Huawei Technologies will be trained as the lead technical service provider.

Meanwhile, the council also approved N45.9 billion as augmentation for the cost of contracts for the construction of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (NDIC) head office buildings in Abuja and Lagos, including its training institute in Lagos.

Agba noted that the concessionaire has furnished the government with $9 million security from the satisfactory performance of the project. They have also executed the depth facility tensions in the some of $300 million to finance the first phase of the project.

In conclusion, the Nigerian Customs Service’s new aircraft is expected to strengthen the nation’s border security and promote economic development by curbing smuggling activities. The FEC’s approval of the project reflects the government’s commitment to enhancing intelligence gathering and providing aerial surveillance and reconnaissance

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