The Presidential Port Reforms Committee has expressed worry over the conduct of scanning operations at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Lagos.
The group headed by Prof. Sylvester Monye, who doubles as Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, met with management of Global Scan Systems Limited recently, following incessant complaints over the quality and speed of scanning operations by the new service provider. Global Scan Systems was recently appointed to carry out goods scanning at the premier port in a re-jig of the lots between the three governments-appointed service providers.
The appointment of Global Scan, believed to be owned by Chief Emeka Offor, a notable funder of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had been widely condemned by stakeholders, who expressed fears that the decision was based largely on political considerations, rather than in the best interest of the critical sector. Sources close to the Port Reforms Committee revealed that the meeting was attended by leaders of the various freight forwarders’ groups, as well as management of the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The stakeholders reportedly took turns to narrate their frustrations in the goods clearing system at the port since the new service provider took over the operations in June.
The meeting was said to have been informed that the new service provider lacked the required manpower and technical knowledge to effectively operate the ultra-modern scanning equipment which it recently inherited from the former operators of the system at the port.
According to a stakeholder, who was present at the meeting, but pleaded anonymity, it was specifically noted that bad image capture, leading to poor image analysis, had been the hallmark of scanning operations at the port since the new service provider assumed office.
Customs had in a recent paid advert lampooned the management of Global Scan, accusing the company of incompetence in fulfilling its obligations under the scheme.
“NCS carried out its own audit, supported by a team of Consultants. The exercise showed a pitiful state of equipment performance, availability, safety and maintenance, compounded by very poor facilities for staff,” NCS said of Global Scan.