“This process enables more cargoes to be scanned and brings about the desired efficiency and effectiveness in Customs cargoes examinations”
By Uzor Odigbo
Finance Minister, budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed on Tuesday commissioned with thrills and peagentry three new Nuctech Mobile scanners for Nigeria Customs Service in Lagos.
The event which happened at Apapa Seaport, Lagos attracted huge gathering of heads of management, department and agencies under the Ministry of finance.
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.
The procurement of of the Scanners which is based on “Own. Operate and Transfer (BOOT) for a period of Seven (7) years to three (3) Scanning Service Providers (SSPs) namely: Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, Societe Generale De Surveillance Limited and Global Scan Systems Limited”
The essence of this the Minister said, is to modernize the operations of the NCS in line with International best practices.
In a press release made available to TheNicheng.com, Ahmed reiterated that at the expiration of the contract in December, 2012, it was extended to a period six of (6) months which ended in June, 2013.
According to her, 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.
“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. This process enables more cargoes to be scanned and brings about the desired efficiency and effectiveness in Customs cargoes examinations.
The commissioning of the three new scanners today, is a milestone in the Service efforts to expedite Customs operations, achieve ease of doing business, facilitate trade, prevent Port congestion, increase revenue generation to 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 One Hundred and Twenty (120) NCS scanning officers”
The finance Minister however informed Management and entire Officers, 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.
“While commissioning the Scanners the Minister commended the CGC for his unrelenting drive in modernizing the NCS, as thanked Management and officers and Men of the NCS for supporting the CGC on the initiative.