Customs confirms inefficient scanning machines at Seme border

Inde-Dikko-Abdulahi, Comptroller General of Customs, NigeriaToju Vincent 16 August 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Seme border Customs Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has confirmed that scanning machines at the Seme border in Lagos are inefficient and that the situation was beginning to affect their operations.

Disclosing this to newsmen in Lagos, the Command’s Comptroller, Othman Abdu Saleh, said the management of Globalscan has been economical with the truth concerning the issue of scanning operations in Seme border.

It would be recalled that the management of Globalscan System Limited had defended the efficiency of its scanner saying that they were manufactured by one of the best detection companies in the world.

The Command stated that, sometimes, for up to four days in a week, the scanner will breakdown and remain non-functional.
Saleh maintained that he did not know what to believe as the cause of the inefficiency in the scanning system, whether it is the generator attached to the scanning machine or the scanner itself that is faulty because the owners of the equipment had not been truthful in the situation.

Besides that Customs operations have been hampered, agents are also lamenting the inefficient scanning machines at Seme border.

He disclosed that most times, the Command had to resort to 100 per cent physical examination of cargoes.

He said: “I thought the scanning machine had its own separate generator different from the one that powers the entire premises. My officer at the scanning site came and said the scanner has been down for two days.

“At a point we even told importers to come to work on Saturday, but they refused to show up because they are not sure of the scanner. There was a time we had serious problem because government said all goods coming through the border should be containerised and for this reason operations were suspended for two months.

“By the time, government said that these trucks should be reduced to international standard and for that reason there was a lot of trucks at the border trying to adjust to the new policy. Do not forget the fact that the scanner is a mobile scanner.

“There were times I had to call the Comptroller-General to give me express permission to carry out physical examination of these trucks and containers because the scanners were not working.

“After most of the backlog had been cleared, we even asked them to come to work on Saturday. There is no week that this mobile scanner will not collapse, I remember about two weeks ago, the scanner was don for four days and when I asked what the problem was I was told that it was the generator.

“I actually thought the scanner had its own generator and another one for the premises. As for the fixed scanner, it has been test run but it has not been put to use and when we asked them they said they are waiting for certification”.

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