By Richards Adeniyi
The Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Area 1 Command, has insisted that the scanners at the premier port in Lagos are functional, saying that not all cargoes are subjected to 100 percent physical examination.
The Customs Area Controller, Musa Jubrin, told journalists that some of the scanners are operational and are being used to inspect cargoes at the port.
Recall that some freight forwarders had raised alarm over the state of the scanners at the port which they said are obsolete.
The Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group, stated recently in a statement said that the scanners in most ports across the country were not in a good working condition, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the Customs to discharge its duty of container inspection effectively.
The Sifax boss noted that “most scanners at our ports are either completely broken down or functioning well below installed capacity. This has left the personnel of the Customs with no other option than to do 100 percent physical examination of cargoes.”
But Jubrin who reiterated the command’s resolve to surpass last year’s revenue return argued that the scanners at the premier port are effective and efficient, noting that the introduction of the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS 2) would further complement the machines in aiding trade facilitation.
On the real state of the scanning machines at the port, Jubrin insisted they are in good working condition. “The scanners at the port are always in use, they are functional but at this point I cannot give you the number of cargoes that are scanned and those that pass through 100 percent physical examination,” he said.
According to him, NICIS 2 has commenced operations in other commands of the service but assured that the technology will start at the flagship command soon.
He maintained that the scanners at the port have assisted in the fast tracking of cargoes.
Speaking on the need for stakeholders to embrace the NICIS 2 project, the Customs chief called on freight forwarders and licensed customs agents to upgrade themselves on the innovation.