By Godfrey Bivbere
CUSTOMS Brokers under the aegis of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, are demanding the probe of abandoned scanners at the port by the management of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
The Council explained that contrary to claims by the NCS that the scanners were old and obsolete, they were good and in working condition when they were handed over to the Customs by the service providers engaged by the Federal Government for the provision of the facility.
National President of NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero, who made the demand in an exclusive chart with Vanguard while responding to the expected delivery of brand new scanners, noted that until the cause of the abandonment of the present scanners are ascertained, acquisition of news ones may be waste of money.
According to him, “There is supposed to be an investigation of what happened to those scanners, the Federal Government has not secured anything from those scanners. What happened to those scanners are that the Pre-shipment Inspection Agents, PIA procured the scanners, worked on the scanners, transferred them, benefitted from them.
“The people they transferred it to, there is need for an investigation to determine why those scanners are not working because that was an investment that was supposed to be a process for development for the country. So all the scanners that collapsed are supposed to be investigated because if Customs is bringing three new scanners, what happened to the old ones?
“Not some people, I am a member of the Presidential Taskforce on Customs Reforms. The former scanners are pre-investment, what we did before was post investment. Pre-investment means that the people who provided the scanners, the people who procured the scanners and worked with the scanners and transferred them to government in line with the provisions of the contract.
“We are supposed to have what is called post investment, which is supposed to be with the old scanners, the present scanners are not old. You cannot be spending government money like that, they have to address what happened to the old ones.”