FG Install Scanners For Port Operations
As Minister Commissions Machines At Apapa, Tin Can and Onnes Ports
In furtherance of the ongoing modernization of operations of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed has commissioned three, Nuctech Mobile Scanners for the Apapa, Tin Can Island and Onne Ports to enhance Customs efficiency.
The Minister disclosed that the project is intended to support NCS to deliver on its mandate in line with the key priorities of President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration targeted at reducing poverty and stimulating favourable macroeconomic conditions for sustained growth and development.
She commended President Muhammadu Buhari who granted approval through FEC for the Procurement and Installation of the Scanners and also the training of 120 officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Mrs. Ahmed also commended the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (CGC) for his commitments towards the successful supply and installation of the three Scanners at the three different locations.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government in 2005 contracted the provisions, installations, operations and management of X-Ray Scanners and Computerized Risk Management System for the examination of goods on Build. Own. Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis, for a period of seven years to three Scanning Service Providers (SSPs) namely: Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, Societe Generale De Surveillance Limited and Global Scan Systems Limited.
The essence of this was to modernize the operations of the NCS in line with International best practices. At the expiration of the contract in December, 2012, it was extended to a period of six months which ended in June, 2013. Subsequently, the Government entered into a Transition Agreement which terminated on 30 November, 2013 and the NCS commenced the operations of the Scanners, However, upon the exit of the Scanning Service Providers (SSPs), some of the Scanners became dysfunctional which resulted in physical examination of goods by the NCS. This challenge made the government to provide the new Scanners at the three main Ports, in order to improve the examination of cargoes by the NCS.
According to Mrs. Ahmed, the current process of physical examination of cargoes is time consuming, causing loss of revenue to the government and cannot be compared with the Scanning of cargoes which is carried out in minutes and having the capacity to detect prohibited imports that are concealed in cargoes. She added that this process enables more cargoes to be scanned which brings about efficiency and effectiveness in Customs cargoes examinations.
She disclosed that the commissioning of the three new Scanners is a milestone in the Service’s efforts to expedite Customs operations, achieve ease of doing business, facilitate trade, prevent Port congestion, increase revenue generation to the government and improve national security.
“I therefore implore the Management of the NCS to collaborate with the Scanners Contractor, to ensure proper maintenance and full utilization of the Scanners within the thirty (30) months provided in the Contract Agreement, as well as enhanced Capacity Building and Training of 120 NCS scanning officers”.
“Let me assure inform the management, officers and men of the NCS and other stakeholders that efforts are being made to procure more Scanners for the Seaports, Land Borders and Airports in the country. The essence of this is to improve efficiency and generate more revenue to the government. I urge the Importers, Customs Agents, Freight Forwarders and other Ports users to support the NCS for successful scanning operations. I further hereby commend the CGC for his unrelenting drive in modernizing the NCS, i thank the Management and officers and Men of the NCS who supported the CGC on this initiative,” Mrs. Ahmed said.