Nigeria: customs buys into blockchain to curb corruption

With its Excise Trade Automation fully on blockchain, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) could experience a 50% growth in revenue to add to its current US$280 million accrued monthly said Aber Benjamin, Assistant Comptroller General (Modernisation).

Benjamin said the target is realistic and the state organisation is busy with a pilot of Oracle's Blockchain Cloud Service to manage business processes and procedures to improve transparency, root out corruption and increase revenue.

"Yes, it is feasible because the current Excise and Free Trade Zones business processes and procedures are not automated and as such there exist opportunity for corruption with resultant revenue leakages," he said.

"But with full automation leveraging on Oracle Blockchain technology, these gaps will no longer exist and transparency with predictive business environment will surely bring about increase in revenue we have experience in other areas of the service."

The NCS intends to use Blockchain to document and track products manufactured locally, from the source of licensing and permits to distribution and Points of Sale (PoS).

"NCS chose to embrace blockchain technology which is different from the adoption of cryptocurrency because we believe blockchain will help drive transparency and trust in our excise trade by providing irrefutable data on goods manufactured in Nigeria," said Benjamin. "It will also drive investment in goods manufactured in Nigeria because trusted information on all products will be available on the platform."

Adopting blockchain is widely considered 'new territory' for many Africans. Recently in Tanzania, collaboration between Irish AID:Tech and Dutch PharmAccess saw a women's aid project in Tanzania record the birth of a baby on blockchain - a world first.

"I see a fast adoption of blockchain in Nigeria as this will drastically promote Nigeria's ease of doing business and bring about trust in the different systems such as trade, finance, oil supply etc.," Benjamin noted. "Already with Customs' migration to blockchain, this will automatically require that all organisations that deal with Customs such as the banks, government agencies and so on join the Customs blockchain network."