Ministers of Transport, Finance Target 1% CISS Fund for New ICT Deal
By Oge Obi
The Transportation Minister, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and his Finance counterpart, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun have commenced moves to access over $1 billion funds accrued under the Comprehensive Import Supervisor Scheme (CISS) and Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme for a new ICT deal.
The ministers are seeking the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) approval to access the one percent CISS that was levied on all importation, which also served as payment to pre-shipment inspection and later destination inspection agents; services the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) now renders
Severally, maritime industry stakeholders have called for the abolition of the levy without their calls being heeded to.
In a memo dated December 7, 2017, titled “Approval for the Establishment of the National Trade Platform, Joint Memorandum by Honourable Minister of Transportation and the Honourable Minister of Finance”, the duo sought to be allowed to take the one percent Free On Board (FOB) CISS paid by Nigerian importers and the 0.5 percent NESS paid by exporters as fees for export trade facilitation services as a way of generating more funds.
It was said that over $1 billion have accrued to the accounts of NESS and CISS that are domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria and that the funds are targeted for a project that will involve a foreign firm, Mckinsery & Company
This recent moves seek to oust Webb Fontaine Nigeria Limited that has been providing ICT backbone services to the Nigerian Customs Service.
The ministers are seeking FEC’s approval for them to share the accrued revenue to yet to be registered NTP (74 percent for both the Single Window and Scanning Service) and (26 percent for CISS administration).
It also stated that once the export related segment of the single window is incorporated, the existing Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) will be distributed between NTP (74 percent) and NESS Secretariat (26 percent).
According to the memo, the proposal had earlier been presented to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential enabling business Environmental Council (PEBEC) meeting.
At the meeting, the Vice President reportedly constituted and inaugurated a steering committee that was co-chaired by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali and the Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman to work on the proposal.