The Nigeria Customs Service has disclosed that three multimillion dollars high calibre mobile scanning machines belonging to the Services are currently rotting away at the Apapa port.
That the Smiths Hiemann 2533 HCV machines which were procured and managed by a foreign company known as Cortena have not been put to use since 2015 when the contract involving the company was revoked.
Mohammed Abba-Kura, controller of the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, told the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise on oversight visit to the Command that politics was brought into the issue of scanners sometimes in 2015.
Abba-Kura said that the contract involving Cotecna was revoked and re-awarded to a Nigerian company known as Global Scan said to be owned by Sir Emeka Offor.
According to him, the company lacked the technical capacity to manage the scanners, adding that even the CIR issued by the company were the worst the Customs has ever worked with.
“The issue of politics was brought into the scanning. Even the contract with the service providers, for so many years, Nigeria Customs Service was not part of it. If you want to do a project, you must bring stakeholders to be part of that project because once they are part of it, it will be a success story and a win, win situation.
“These contracts are normally signed and brought down the throat of the Customs to implement. Before destination inspection, from 1978 when we were doing pre-shipment, we were never part of it. The contract will either be signed from the mother Ministry or somewhere in the Executive.
“In fact, the service fought seriously to even collect some of the aspects these service providers were handling such as taking over the scanning machines. Even in the agreement, the service providers need to train Customs officers on all aspects,” he said.