Nigeria Customs embraces data analytics with the WCO’s support

09 March 2020

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is adopting new data analysis techniques developed by the WCO BACUDA Team to fight undervaluation and has started analysing real-time data on imports coming through Tin Can Island Port, near Lagos, using the Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to detect fraud developed by the WCO as part of its BACUDA Project.

BACUDA is a collaborative research project between Customs and data scientists. Its objective is to develop data analytics methodologies as a response to WCO Members’ requests for assistance in this domain, which is also one of the priorities defined in the Organization’s current Strategic Plan (see article published in the March 2020 edition of WCO News

To develop the algorithms, BACUDA analysts used Customs data at the most disaggregated level, i.e. the transaction level.  Such data was collected from Customs administrations wishing to support the project, including Nigeria Customs which provided a subset of five-year import data to enable the BACUDA Team experts to develop and test the algorithms for detecting fraud.

The results obtained from analysing the data on imports coming through Tin Can Island Port using the BACUDA algorithms will be compared with those obtained from analysing the data on imports coming through Onne Port using traditional analytical methods.

The WCO Deputy Secretary General, Ricardo Treviño Chapa, attended the ceremony held to launch the pilot project on 2 March 2020.  Addressing the audience, he expressed his confidence that the methods developed by the WCO would enable the NCS to detect under-valuation with greater accuracy and, by so doing, to facilitate operations by compliant traders, create a fair business environment and increase revenue collection.

Mr. Treviño Chapa also thanked the NCS for the support provided to the BACUDA Project and congratulated the Administration for showing its strong commitment towards the adoption of modern targeting techniques.

During his stay in Abuja, Mr. Treviño Chapa also met with the NCS management team to discuss several projects, as well as with the NCS Comptroller General, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali, who reiterated his willingness to continue actively supporting the work done by the Organization.  Finally, the DSG also visited the WCO Regional Training Centre in Abuja, where he gave a speech to students on the WCO’s role in fostering cooperation among Customs administrations, protecting society and facilitating legal trade.

More Information 
(Access to this information is restricted and interested readers who do not have a user account for the WCO website are invited to submit an access request to the WCO if they are Customs officials, or to contact the WCO Research Unit if they perform another public or private function)
WCO Research Unit