Stakeholders demand deployment of more scanners at ports
Stakeholders have called for the deployment of more scanners to improve efficiency at the ports, especially, considering the volume of cargo coming into the ports.
Recall that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), installed and commissioned three mobile cargo scanners at Apapa, Tin Can Island and Onne ports to ease ports operations and eliminate 100 per cent examination that fueled corruption and slowed down cargo clearance procedure.
The scanners, worth $18.12 million, as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), were expected to process and scan over 500 cargoes every day, that is, 1,500.
But four months after the commissioning, the scanners can’t scan up to 500 containers in a day, with Customs still operating physical examination.
The acting president of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr. Kayode Farinto, explained that one scanner each for Apapa and Tin Can Island cannot handle the volume of cargo coming into these ports.
“We need more scanners at the ports, especially Apapa and Tin-Can. One scanner each for the two busiest ports in Nigeria is not enough. That is why, despite the introduction of scanners, physical examinations persist at the ports.
“We need the Federal Government to deploy more scanners and even introduce mobile scanners to complement the effort of the already deployed scanners,” he said.
The Chairman/Managing Director of Lamsam Intercontinental Company Nigeria Limited, Port Harcourt, Samuel Njoku, said the scanner deployed at Onne is not enough and could break down any moment, allowing Customs officers to go back to their extortion clearing processes.
“The scanner is still the old type, which was installed in the warehouse where the old ones used to be. By doing so, causing the same problem, which in no time the scanner will break down and Customs will start extortion,” he added.