By FRANK OYAKHILOME
THE Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali, recently disclosed in Abuja that the service would require N20 billion to purchase new equipment for its operations at the ports when the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, went on a facility inspection of Customs operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
Ali, who said that the equipment, when purchased, would ease the operations of officials and boost revenue generation, stressed that the equipment are scanners and others that will enhance the functions of the service.
The CG Customs stressed that the equipment were needed because the old ones were no longer serving the needs of the nation, aside the longevity, the modernisation of the equipment matters, adding that high definition scanners which are coming in as what in on ground will not meet with the present situation, so the NCS need to review the old system, get new ones and deploy them.
He explained that it is not a matter of how long, if a scanner was bought yesterday but it does not meet with the present requirements, we will have to change it.
Adeosun speaking earlier said that the inspection was necessary to assess the need for new equipment since Customs was one of the big revenue generating and security agencies of the nation, adding that the new equipment would serve as investment to the nation.
The Finance Minister elegizes the NCS, stressing that the offices are doing extremely good job but need more technology and modern equipment to be able to scan suitcases and have a prior knowledge of what is inside.
She said the days where Customs opens suitcases to search without information are over so government really need to invest in equipment that customs need to improve its performance, adding that the equipment that are been bought are an investment, knowing that the increase in efficiency of revenue collection will pay for the equipment.