Customs decries under-utilisation
By Godfrey Bivbere & Gideon Nnaemezia
THE Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, yesterday, inaugurated three new scanners at the nation’s seaports.
This was even as the Comptroller General of Customs, CGC, Hameed Ali, decried the under-utilisation of the scanners at Apapa ports.
Ahmed said the deployment of the scanners would reduce importation of unwholesome goods as well as increase government revenue collection.
She also disclosed that additional 135 scanners were still expected for full automation of cargo clearing system across all ports of entry in the country.
She stated: “The inauguration 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.
“Furthermore, 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”.
Ali had earlier warned terminal operators to cooperate with the Customs in the positioning of containers for scanning so as to prevent conflict between both bodies.
He explained that the scanner at Apapa port has the capacity to scan between 400 and 500 containers daily but it is only scanning about 130 presently.