SIFAX Group urges Federal Government to concession ports’ scanning service
Irked by the prevailing regime of non-functioning scanners at the nation’s ports, SIFAX Group, has urged the Federal Government to concession the scanning service at all the seaports to aid smooth verification and clearance cargoes.
The service is currently being handled by the Nigerian Customs Service, has been identified by stakeholders as a major clog in the wheel of the 48 hours cargo clearance agenda of the Federal Government.
Lack of scanners has also aided unwholesome activities by the officials that led to leakages of prohibited items into the country.
Speaking, the Executive Director, SIFAX Haulage & Logistics Limited, Henry Ajetunmobi, at an industry event said there is a need for the government to deepen the involvement of the private sector in the country’s transportation industry in order to improve the level of efficiency in the sector.
Using the port concession as a case study, which has been adjudged as a huge success, as a strong argument point, Ajetunmobi said concessioning remains the most practicable options available to the Federal Government in its bid to address the debilitating infrastructural challenge in the industry.
He said: “The current economic reality makes it clear to all that the Federal Government cannot solely address the infrastructural deficit in the country’s transportation sector. This deficit has negatively affected service delivery and ultimately, its contribution to the economy. This is the right time for the government to concession critical infrastructure in the sector, especially at the seaports.
“Of utmost importance is the scanning service. Most scanners at the ports are either completely broken down or functioning well below installed capacity.
This situation has subjected the Nigerian Customs Service and other agencies to a hundred percent examination of cargoes, which does only wastes time but also more favourable to the smugglers, too. We have waited anxiously for the scanners and it is not forthcoming. I want the government to consider concessioning the scanning service to investors as this will really make the port reform system more efficient”, he said.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, had earlier disclosed that lack of functional scanners at the port is a major setback to their operations.
“We have problems with the scanners because most of them are not working. We are working diligently to replace them. By God’s grace by the end of this first quarter, we will have scanners at our ports,” he said.