By Godwin Oritse
THERE are indications that menÂ and officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have commenced the gradual take over of the scanning operations across the nationâ€™s seaports, airports and border posts.
This is coming four years into the scanning contract the Federal Government entered into with three of such service providers, namelyÂ Cotecna, SGS, and Global Scan.
Confirming this development to Vanguard in Lagos, the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs in charge of training and staff welfare, Alhaji Salisu Argungun said that the service is preparing officers to take over from the providers of scanning services.
The move to take over the operations of the scanning services, according to Argungun is contained in the contract the firms signed with the government which is based on the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
The service about three months ago commenced training of its officers and men from across the country on the handling of scanning operations with a view to transferringÂ the knowledge of the handlingÂ of scanners and its operations.
The training which was facilitated by a group of retired customs officers under the aegis of Institute of Customs Affairs and Conflict Resolution and headed by former Comptroller-General of Customs Mr TAYO Ogungbemile said that the acquired skilled is expected to enhance and advanceÂ individual officerâ€™s integrity, general trade facilitation and consequently capture the maximum collectable revenue into the coffers of the government.
The institute, according to Ogungbemile apart from acting as a resource center for the Customs,Â is also meant to provide regular refresher courses for officers and men of the service
â€œOur training methodology is focused on extruding from the inner minds of trainees new improved methods of achieving goals that are consistent with best practices in the maritime industry all over the civilised world especially having regard to the simplification and harmonisation of customs procedure.
â€œWe are poised to enhance proficiency and professionalism
â€œThe Customs Service Providers, to wit : Cotecna, SGS and Global Scan desirous of building the professional capacity of serving customs officers, obtained the approval ofÂ Nigeria Customs Service to engage the services of the institute to provide refresher courses for officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service .
â€œOur resource persons include, but not limited to reputable retired senior customs officers who did not only work at the training college while in the service but also attend international training the trainers course, seminar, and workshops.
â€œEven inÂ retirement, the institute exposes them to international conferences through International Federation of Customs Brokers Association (IFCBA) which has observer status in the World Customs Organization.
â€œBy so doing, they maintain their subject expertise on customs and maritime mattersâ€ he added. Meanwhile, the institute commenced a two weeks training programme for inspection service providers namely Cotecna, SGS and Global scan and a selected group of officers from the service formation across the country.