A cargo scanner installed by Global Scansysystems Ltd and valued at over 5 million dollars (N750 million) has been under_utilised at the Calabar port, the Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Mr Fred Udechukwu has said.
Udechukwu said in calabar this week that one year after his firm installed the HCV Mobile scanner,Â the scanner had only performed less than 5 per cent of its installed capacity.
He said that activities had remained at low ebb in the port since the firm arrived the port in 2006 because ships were not coming.All the berths at the ports are often empty, because the ships are not coming, he said
Udechukwu said that the company only handled 20 Single Goods Declaration Forms (SGD) in one month an indication that only 20 consignmentsÂ were being scanned averagely per month.
He said that the company incurred huge amount on salaries of its workers at the port and also spent a lot of money on diesel to power its generators.The chief executive said that unless the Federal Government dredge the Calabar port for bigger ships to berth, activities might remain low.
The port operator said that no ship owner would want his ship to run aground in the port, saying that only smaller vessels come into the port with consignments.
Udechukwu said the firm had been servicing huge loans borrowed from banks in procuring some of its facilities because the scanning was not progressing at the expected pace.
He described Calabar as a â€œpeaceful cityâ€ that should able to attract large imports if government could dredge the river.
He said that the firm would, however, not relent in its efforts to ensure that contraband goods were not brought into the port.Udechukwu said that the firm was recently able to uncover some contraband items like textiles smuggled into the port.