Nigeria – Huawei, Smiths Detection, Bionica win concession for $3.1bn Customs modernisation project

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday ratified the $3.1 billion anticipatory approval by President Muhammadu Buhari to concession the modernisation project of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to a consortium named Messers E.Customs HC Project Limited. The concession is for 20 years.

The consortium is made up of Bionica Technologies W.A. Limited, Huawei, Smiths Detection, Nuctech of China, Larsen & Toubro Group, and Paramount Group.

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, said the project will be at zero cost to the Federal Government since the $3.1 billion being proposed for the project will be sourced by the concessionaire.

She said, “The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning presented a memo, which is for the ratification of Mr. President’s anticipatory approval for the contract for the Customs modernisation.

“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 in favour of a firm known as E. Customs HC Projects Nigeria Limited For a concessionary period of 20 years.

“The main objective of this project is to completely automate every aspect of the Customs business and to institutionalise the use of smart and emerging technologies that will enhance the statutory function of the Nigeria Customs Service in the areas of revenue generation as well as trade facilitation and enhancement of security. The total cost of the project is in the sum of $3.1 billion. The consortium, the PPP group that has been approved are led by Messers Y Technologies with four other members.

“The committee that led this process also looked at the National Trade Impact process that has been going on for years and confirmed that the Nigerian e-customs project is a subset of the National Trade Impact and would prefer the Nigeria Customs to play its role in the national trading platform.

“The Bionica Technologies West Africa Limited, Bargain Securities and Supplies Nigeria Limited, these are lead sponsor and co-sponsor. We also have The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as the lead financier and Huawei Technology as a technical service provider.

“So, the council today, ratified Mr. President’s approval for the PPP concession for a 20-year period to Messers 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 financings and this revenue will be deployed in three phases in the concessionary period of 20 years.

“The Nigeria Customs currently has some level of automation services but it is not all of its serves that are automated. This is an end-to-end automation of all of Nigeria Customs Service processes and it’s going to bring huge value to the country. So this investment of $3.1 billion is broken down into capital investment of $1.2 billion which will be done in three phases over 36 months by these investors and $1.1 billion is our projection of the operational cost over the 20-year period of the implementation of the project.

“This project has the potential to yield up to $176 billion of revenue and the consortia that are providing this investment are going to be paid over time according to the schedule that is negotiated for their investments including their profits and cost.

“So this is the best possible way for Nigeria to roll out an important capital project using funds from the private sector and providing service for the use of Nigerian people and the government.”

Asked if with the project Customs would overtake petroleum as a source of revenue for the country, the Minister said it was part of the diversification plan of government.

According to her, “We hope that at some point those revenues from oil will begin to be insignificant compared to revenue from the non-oil sector in the Nigerian economy. That is our aspiration and that is the true meaning of diversification.”

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in his explanation said, “The key point is that it is not costing the Federal Government one thing, the $3.1 billion being proposed will be sourced by the sponsors and the partners.”

15 companies were pre-qualified and were all invited to make presentations on their solutions to enable Nigeria realise its vision of attaining complete automation of its Customs operations and enthroning best practice methods as obtained in advanced countries.

Bionica Technologies W.A. Limited was the preferred bidder after a rigorous evaluation process. Bionica presented its bid together with a consortium namely, Huawei, Smiths Detection, Nuctech of China, Larsen & Toubro Group, and Paramount Group. The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is both an equity investor and the Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA), which will facilitate loan syndication with foreign and local banks.

Source: Ships and Ports, September 2002

South African Customs launches new X-Ray Inspection Facility in Durban

SARS Customs New NII Ste - DurbanSARS Customs recently launched its new X-Ray cargo inspection facility adjacent to the Durban Container Terminal in the Port of Durban. Following the trend as in other countries, SARS has identified non-intrusive inspection capability as part of its ‘tiered’ approach to risk management.

In 2008, SARS introduced its very first mobile x-ray scanner which was located inside the Durban container terminal precinct as part of South Africa’s participation in the US Container Security Initiative (CSI). While it has proven itself in the development of Customs NII capability, its location and lack of integration with other Customs automated tools has limited its success.

The new Customs inspection facility is a step-up in technology and automation – a Nuctech MB 1215HL Relocatable Container/Vehicle Inspection System. It has some significant advantages over the original mobile version namely –

  • An efficient and cost-effective security solution with a relatively small footprint (site size).
  • 6 Mev dual energy X-Ray technology with high penetration (through 330 mm of steel).
  • High throughput of 20-25 units of 40ft container vehicles per hour.
  • A unique modular gantry design which improves system relocatability.
  • Self-shielding architecture which requires no additional radiation protection wall.
  • Advanced screening and security features such as organic/inorganic material discrimination.
  • High quality scanning image manipulation tools allowing the customs image reviewer the ability to verify and distinguish the contents of a vehicle or cargo container.

Since its launch more than 350 scans have been performed. Suspect containers were sent for full unpack resulting in various positive findings.

The new relocatable scanner is easier to operate and significantly faster than the mobile scanner. In addition, scanned images are now automatically integrated into SARS Customs case management and inspection software making case management both seamless and efficient.

It is anticipated that until October 2014, both the new scanner and the existing mobile scanner operations will co-exist. During this time, the new scanner will operate risk generated cases directly from SARS automated risk engine. Unscheduled or random interventions will continue to occur at the old scanner site, which operates 24/7.

Plans are in place to decommission the mobile scanner after October 2014. The new scanner will then operate on a 24/7 basis.

X-Ray Security Screening – Technologies, Industry and Global Market – 2014-2020

X-Ray_CoverAgainst the backdrop of doom and gloom predictions by some managers in industry, Homeland Security Research Corporation analysts forecast a strong comeback of the X-ray security industry generating a solid 7% CAGR. The growth will be boosted by three main drivers:

  1. The expansion of the Asia Pacific secured facilities and aviation security markets
  2. The replacement of more than 40,000 outdated X-ray systems
  3. Despite a decade of R&D aiming at new baggage, luggage, cargo and mail screening technologies, there is no modality on the horizon that can competitively challenge the cost-performance of the X-ray based screening technologies.

According to HSRC’s report, “X-ray Security Screening: Technologies and Global Industry & Market – 2014-2020“, the global X-ray security screening industry revenues (including systems sales and aftersales service and upgrades) is forecasted to grow from $1.6 billion in 2013 to $2.6 billion by 2020.

With more than 690 pages, 254 tables and 324 figures, the new report is the most comprehensive review of the multibillion-dollar global X-ray security screening market, industry and technology trends published to date. The report analyzes each and every dollar of the industry revenues and provides data and analysis on 89 submarkets including submarket 2011-2013 data and 2014-2020 forecasts and analyses. The report addresses the “money trail” of each dollar spent via 5 viewpoints:

  • 5 geographical regions
  • 20 countries
  • 3 vertical markets
  • 4 application-technologies
  • System sales and aftersale revenues

The report analyzes the X-ray industry and technologies from several perspectives, including:

  • Current and pipeline technologies, such as single energy X-ray, dual energy X-ray, backscatter X-ray, multi-view X-ray and coherent X-ray
  • Competitive environment: 16 leading X-ray vendor profiles including their products, products description and prices. Companies include American Science and Engineering, Astrophysics Inc., Auto Clear, Eurologix Security, Gilardoni, L3 Communications , LIXI, Morpho Detection, Nuctech , Rapiscan Security Products, SAIC, Scanna Msc., Smiths Detection, Vidisco.
  • 20 countries airports: 1,195 airports with 2,352 million screened passengers (84% of global passengers). For each country, all the airports with over 100,000 annual screened passengers are presented including details on the number of screened passengers and the annual growth rate
  • Market & industry analysis: e.g., market drivers & inhibitors, X-ray security industry SWOT analysis
  • Business environment: e.g., competitive analysis.

Each new report from Homeland Security Research Corporation features more and more detailed analyses on this market. Of particular interest is the ‘country analysis’ which demonstrates just how refined this market is developing. All of this comes at a hefty price tag – starting at US$ 4,450 for a single user PDF!

ZRA Border Scanners will increase revenue – Commissioner

ZRA scanner commissioned at Kazungula border post (Picture: mwebantu.com)

ZRA scanner commissioned at Kazungula border post (Picture: mwebantu.com)

Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General, Berlin Msiska, says the investment of scanners in borders will help yield additional revenue for government. And ZRA Commissioner for Customs, Dingani Banda, says the introduction of the scanner will enable the authority to take five minutes only to inspect a truck, not five hours as was the case in the past. Commissioning a non-intrusive inspection equipment or scanner at Chanida border on Tuesday, Msiska said the equipment would help in facilitating trade.

He said instead of carrying out several physical inspections as was the case previously, ZRA would now be using a scanner.

“Through the use the scanner, we might get possible concealment in the trucks, but what we now intend to do, which we have always done as ZRA is that where we find that goods are being smuggled into the country, we are going to take stern action against those in borders. This will include an aspect of prosecution. Now, we have also intensified operations inland in that we have established a mobile compliance unit to deal with the inland enforcement of certain smuggled commodities,” Msiska said.

He said the scanner would also enable ZRA to carryout risk-based scanning services. He said the equipment would help expedite the process of clearing at the border. Msiska said the equipment whose total investment was US$5.2 million was set up by Nuctech, a Chinese firm.

And Banda said the implementation of the scanner at Chanida border would help ZRA in a number of ways. He said previously, if they suspected that a truck could be carrying goods that might require physical inspection, they would take an average of five hours to do the inspection.

“Now, with the scanning technology, it takes less five minutes for us to do a physical inspection of a truck and for a station like Chanida where we have an average of 40 to 50 trucks coming in and going out of the country on a daily basis, this will help us in terms of the turnaround in the inspection and it will enhance our inefficiencies,” Banda said.

He said ZRA already had similar infrastructure at Chirundu, Katimamulilo and Kazungula borders. Banda said ZRA was also expecting rail scanners at both Kapiri-Mposhi and Kasumbalesa. Comment – Seems like another ‘juicy’ deal for the Chinese – Nuctech?

He also said other scanners were under construction at Mwami and Nakonde borders. Chanida border post is the main gateway to neighbouring Mozambique. Source: The Post Online (Zambia)

 

X-Ray Scanners – WTO panel rules on EU-China dumping row

Nuctech Fast Scan Vehicle and Container inspection system

Nuctech Fast Scan Vehicle and Container inspection system

Part of the problem here is that the Chinese have a significant market share in this type of equipment. In a short period of 10 years they have outstripped some of the more fancied American and European players in this business. While the dispute in question raises ‘ethical’ questions of the Chinese, it does seem to be a matter of sour grapes.

China’s anti-dumping duties on imports of x-ray security scanners from the EU violated global trade rules, according to a WTO panel ruling that was issued yesterday. [WTO Dispute Settlement, DS425]

Brussels brought the dispute in July 2011 after Beijing imposed duties ranging from 33.5 to 71.8 percent on the x-ray scanners. (See Bridges Weekly, 25 January 2012) The EU exports approximately €70 million of these scanners to China annually.

China imposed the duties after the EU had applied anti-dumping duties on Chinese cargo scanners one year earlier, which some viewed at the time as a “tit-for-tat” move.

The panel report primarily focused on procedural issues in Beijing’s investigation, specifically regarding how China calculated the anti-dumping margin, loosely defined as the difference between the price – or cost – in the foreign market and the price in the importing domestic market.

Beijing included more expensive “high-energy” scanners – which do not “look remotely like” the cheaper scanners, according to the panel report – in calculating the average domestic price, even though only cheaper “low-energy” scanners were exported. The panel found that this price comparison was “not consistent with an objective examination of positive evidence” required under WTO rules.

The panel also found that Beijing did not comply with certain due process and transparency requirements before imposing the duties.

The panel did not rule with the EU on all points, however, noting that Brussels had not established that Beijing had acted inconsistently in certain other procedural matters.

“I expect China to remove the measures immediately,” EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said on Tuesday in response to the panel ruling. “I will not accept tit-for-tat retaliation against European companies through the misuse of trade defence instruments.”

Under WTO rules, both sides have 60 days to appeal the ruling. In a statement, China’s Ministry of Commerce indicated that they would make a serious assessment of the case and reserved the right to appeal.