The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it inherited obsolete and outdated scanning machines from service providers and has therefore finalized the process of deploying 50 new ones to the nation’s seaports, airports and land borders across the country to effectively manage the implementation of the new import regime.
This revelation is coming against the backdrop of complaints from stakeholders that the scanners operated by service providers whose seven years contracts with the federal government ended last month do not have the capacity to cope with the volume of cargo in the ports.
Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdulahi, during a parley with journalists yesterday in Lagos yesterday, said the 50 new scanners will be deployed to the ports to compliment those inherited from the service providers.
“The Service has already drawn a plan of 5 years within which we have plans to supply (acquire) 50 scanners in the next five years. The plan is already drawn and they are going to be highly advanced scanners that will meet up with the requirement of time,” he said.
The customs boss who had been on a one-week long awareness campaign on the newly developed Nigeria Trade Hub portal and the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) scheme in Lagos stated that Customs inherited “only 21 scanners” which he described as “obsolete” from the service providers.
“Before now, we hired a consultant and we went to the manufacturers. They came and verified the status of these scanners. We discovered most of the scanners are actually obsolete as at today and they are no scanners that will actually deliver what the vision of the Service is but we still have to take over what we have. And these 21 scanners we are taking over today, few of them are not even functional,” Abdulahi said.
He said that NCS has also put measures in place to guide against all forms of discrepancies including the constant breakdown of server between customs processing units and the ports terminals adding that so far, 350 Customs officers have been trained on PAAR and 300 officers trained to manage the scanners at the various ports.