Miga has issued a US$26mn guarantee to SGS Société Générale de Surveillance covering its equity investment in SGS Scanning Nigeria. The guarantee is for a period of up to 15 years and covers against the risks of breach of contract, currency transfer restriction, and war and civil disturbance.

The project involves the verification and inspection on the government’s behalf of goods imported into Nigeria. The project company will procure, install, and operate x-ray scanners; design, implement, and maintain a computerised risk management system; transfer all data into the Automated System for Customs Data approved by Unctad; and design cargo handling procedures in conjunction with Nigerian agencies. A seven-year build-own-operate-transfer agreement with the Nigerian government will allow the project company to provide these services in the Onne seaport, Port Harcourt seaport and airport, and Idiroko land border.

The project is expected to facilitate trade; contribute to the development of investments in the country; and increase port efficiency by reducing the number of containers that have to be inspected physically, resulting in a significant reduction of port congestion. A direct and positive impact is also expected on revenue collection, due to better assessment of duties and taxes, and fewer opportunities for graft and smuggling. In addition, more than 350 customs service officers and other local staff are expected to receive training during the project.

By supporting this project, Miga will help the government of Nigeria to further reform and modernise customs in the country. The project is also expected to contribute towards greater transparency in Nigeria’s import goods valuation and screening processes.

The project addresses one of Miga’s priority areas: it is an investment in an IDA country in Africa, where some of the world’s poorest live. The project is also consistent with the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy in Nigeria, the main thrust of which is to support the government’s reform efforts to remove obstacles to growth and development.