November 7, 2019

Customs digs in on use of manual examination

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Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hamid Ali (retd)

Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (read)

By Oko Ebuka

Despite massive opposition by stakeholders and obsolesce the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, is set to continue indefinitely with manual cargo examination at the ports, saying that it will not be completely eradicated even when scanning machines are installed.

Disclosing this to Vanguard Maritime Report, the head of enforcement, Tin-can Island Port, Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Dera Nnadi, said that manual examination will remain inevitable in cargo inspection due to wrong declarations made by importers and exporters which scanning machines cannot detect.

He further said that despite manual examination being time-consuming, it is the only way to eliminate fraudulent activities in cargo examination.

He stated: “As long as people don’t make correct declarations, we will continue to examine cargo manually. Yes, we need scanners at the ports to reduce the time spent in examining cargo, but that does not mean scanners will eliminate fraud from cargo examination, we have to accept this as standard, we have to accept it as a country.

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“If we are examining the cargo and found out that there is a basic thing inside that container which is at variance with what has been declared or what is expected, I will still examine that cargo physically, that even makes it a double-check.”

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Nnadi, also said that the supply-chain integrity in the country is poor as he advised Nigerians to show integrity especially when they are declaring their cargoes in order to stop the excessive time-wasting during the examination exercise.