Terminal operators and clearing agents have been accused by the Nigeria Customs Service of undermining the newly installed $120m scanners.
This was made public by the Customs Area Controller in charge of TinCan Island Ports, Mr Adekunle Oloyode, while addressing journalists at the command recently. He said that the agents were undermining the scanners because it would expose them.
He said with the risk management tool in the scanners, 80 per cent of the goods coming into the country were supposed to pass through 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 operators of not providing trucks to take cargoes to the scanning site, adding that until they work together the problems would persist.
“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 between January and December 2022, the command intercepted, 763 packets of colorado weighing 345kg, 2594 pieces of ammunition and other contrabands worth N570bn.
“2594 pieces of ammunition and 20 pieces of arms comprising of 1 pistol with 611090 model JCP 40mm, one used Co2 air pistol with accessories cal 117(4.5m) BM, one marksman repeater pistol, and mace pepper gun and 10 suspected arms of various types. The seizures also included 763pkgs of colarado (Cannabis Sativa) weighing 345.1 kg with a street market value of N714m only as given by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.”
He said within the period under review, the command recorded 38 seizures with a duty paid value of N41bn, adding that 60 suspects were arrested and eight granted administrative bail.
Oloyode also said that revenue generated increased by N80bn when compared to N493bn collected in the corresponding period in 2021.