The Nigeria Customs Service has accused terminal operators and clearing brokers of sabotaging the $120 million scanners that were recently deployed.
According to The PUNCH, this was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller in charge of TinCan Island Ports, Mr Adekunle Oloyode, while addressing journalists at the command in Lagos.
He stated that using the risk management mechanism in the scanners, 80% of items entering the country were supposed to pass via the scanners.
“The scanners are high technical equipment. They can also detect liquid. So, nobody wants to use the scanner, because it will expose them. The pictures are clear. This is the reason for the low compliance level of both the importers and the trading public. It releases goods that do not have issues immediately,” he noted.
Oloyode accused terminal owners of failing to provide vehicles to transport cargo to the scanning location, saying that difficulties would persist unless they collaborated.
“But guess what? Even for the terminal operators to give me trucks to bring consignments to the scanning site is a problem. We have to work together. We can’t automate in isolation, and we must agree to do this work. If I give a platform and either you don’t know how to use it or you intentionally do not want to use it, then the problems would linger. Even if you bring 10 scanners there and the terminals are not willing to provide trucks, the problem will still continue.
“But what we intend to do going forward is to buy more mobile scanners. There is a place on the quay side. As you drop the goods from the truck, it will take it to your terminal, it passes through the scanner and we save the images. So, that will make sure that the compliance level will be compulsory. The mobile machine will be at the quay side,” he said.