President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, in a Virtual FEC Meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

Council earmarks N13bn for automation of airports, $3.1bn for Customs

*Memo is to upgrade safe tower equipment at Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt international airports, says Sen. Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister

*Fund also approved to complete automation of Nigeria Custom Service procedures, using ICT application ─Minister for Finance

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

For infrastructural upgrade of the country’s foremost airports in line with international standards, Nigeria’ Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N13 billion for the automation of safety equipment at Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports.

ConsumerConnect gathered the Council at its virtual meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday, September 2 as well earmarked US$3.1 billion for automation of the operations of the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS).

Sen. Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister of Aviation, and Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, his counterpart in Finance, Budget and National Planning, announced these to correspondents after the meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT.

Sirika expressed optimism that the safe tower projects, when completed, would increase efficiency and reduce the workload of air controllers in the affected airports.

“Today, Civil Aviation submitted a memorandum to Council which was consequently approved.

“The memo is to upgrade and refurbish the safe tower equipment in four airports, Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

“This is just to increase the efficiency of the airports and reduce the workload in the control tower and to automate what was hitherto analogue system to digital.

“Quick example is all of the data we collect at the end of the runways within the airports will now be displayed instantly on our platform in the control tower.

“Information regarding weather, regarding all of the components of weather, winds, rain, macro burst, etc., will be displayed automatically.

He stated that the issue of giving out weather reports every hourly will change to give you an instant weather which will improve the pilot efficiency and the workload on controller is reduced, and it can handle more flights into the airport.

“The total contract sum is N13.122, 230, 999.17,” said the Minister.

Mrs. Ahmed also said the approval for the e-Custom modernisation project followed a memo she presented to the Council.

“The purpose of the memo we presented to Council was for a project that will enable the complete automation of the Nigeria Custom Service processes and procedures using the application and information and technology in all aspects of Customs administration,” she disclosed.

Ahmed submitted that the main objective is to completely automate every aspect of the customs business and institutionalise the use of smart and emerging technologies to enhance the statutory function of the NCS in the area of revenue generation.

The project would be financed through Public Private Partnership (PPP) under a concessionary period of 20 years.

She added: “So, Council today ratified Mr. President’s approval for the PPP concession for a 20-year period to Messrs E-Customs HC Project Limited as a concessionaire for the delivery of customs modernisation project.

“This is a project that will not have an immediate cost to the government, the investors are providing all of the financing and this revenue will be deployed in three phases and they will look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years.”

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