BY DICKSON AGBO
Indigenous terminal operator, SIFAX Group, has urged the Federal Government to concession the scanning service at all the country’s seaports.
The service is currently being handled by the Nigerian Customs Service and majority of the scanners have gone bad forcing the service to perform 100 percent physical examination on cargoes at seaports.
This has however fueled inflation ND cost of doing business at the ports.
However, concerned about the state of scanners at the seaports at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce’s Advocacy Roundtable with the theme, “The Role of Concessions in Fixing the Transportation Sector”, Major Henry Ajetunmobi (Rtd), Executive Director, SIFAX Haulage & Logistics Limited, said there was a need for the government to deepen the involvement of the private sector in the country’s transportation industry in order to improve the level of efficiency in the sector.
Using the case study of the port concession, which has been adjudged as a huge success, as a strong argument point, Ajetunmobi said concessioning remains the most practicable options available to the Federal Government in its bid to address the debilitating infrastructural challenge in the industry.
He said, “The current economic reality makes it clear to all that the Federal Government cannot solely address the infrastructural deficit in the country’s transportation sector.
“This deficit has negatively affected service delivery and ultimately, its contribution to the economy. This is the right time for the government to concession critical infrastructure in the sector, especially at the seaports.”
“Of utmost importance is the scanning service. Most scanners at the ports are either completely broken down or functioning well below installed capacity.
“This situation has subjected the Nigerian Customs Service and other agencies to a hundred percent examination of cargoes, which does only wastes time but also more favourable to the smugglers, too. We have waited anxiously for the scanners and it is not forthcoming. I want the government to consider concessioning the scanning service to investors as this will really make the port reform system more efficient”, he said.