The federal government has acquired new scanners to replace the faulty ones at the nation’s seaports and land borders while additional three have been paid for.
The minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed disclosed this in an interview with LEADERSHIP recently. According to her, the newly paid for scanners are hi-tech scanners that would be deployed to the seaports and airports on the Build Own and Transfer (BOT) basis.
LEADERSHIP recalls that over $120 million scanning machines that were bequeathed to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) by service providers, Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, Global Scan Systems and SGS scanning Nigeria Limited in 2013 have since stopped functioning.
his has compelled physical examination of all containers by the NCS. Speaking to LEADERSHIP, the Minister said the newly acquired scanners will be deployed on level of importance to the major seaports and airports across the country.
She said: “We have bought some scanners and there are three hi-tech scanners that have been paid for but we are waiting for delivery and the first deployment will be to the major ports. We will buy more and part of the single window process is that there is going to be vendor finance, which implies that there will be a vendor that will provide scanners in all of the major seaports as well as major airports. They will run it on a Build Own and Transfer (BOT) and they will exit.”
She also disclosed that the government is considering a mobile scanners at land borders across the country. “On land borders there are mobile scanners being considered but the deployment is going to be in stages starting from the most critical point where the revenues are expected to be high so we are working on the national single window platform,” she disclosed.
With this development, six years after the Destination Inspection (DI) agents handed over cargo scanning equipment to the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC), there are fresh indications that the federal government will return the DI to service providers.
The service providers were sent out of Nigerian ports in 2013 but after failing to run the equipment successful, the federal government mulls return of the DI service providers to run the newly acquired scanning machines at various seaports.