Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited is set to officially commission its hi-tech 9MEV fixed scanners in Apapa port. The much-expected multi-functional equipment will become operational by January 2010.
Giving the assurance last week at a media briefing, the company’s managing director, Mr Tayo Rabiu disclosed that apart from Apapa, the one at Tin Can Island port is also been installed.
According to him, the scanner is the first of its kind in sub- Saharan Africa. It also has dual vision efficiency and is capable of viewing a container from the top and sideways.
“To say that in one year, Nigeria is going to have two at a go, its 9MEV, it’s the highest level of penetration that is allowed”, he added, even as he hinted that a training programme has already been scheduled for all the personnel who will manage the fixed scanners, even though the skills are basically not different.
“We have a training programme that is going to run in January, the only thing will be that we will officially inform the government and government will tell us when they want to do the official inauguration, but I can tell you that come January we will start running the fixed scanner in Apapa”, he assured.
Mr Rabiu also disclosed that his organisation already has a succession plan at the end of its contract with Nigeria, adding that so far, 392 customs officers have been graduated from the various training programmes which started since 2006.
He stressed that Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited has a robust training and retraining package for officers of the Nigerian Custom Service on valuation and classification so as to equip them to handle destination inspection by year 2012.
According to him, every year up till 2011 the company will be training 250 image analysts. The idea, he explained is to introduce customs officers as trainers so that by the year 2012 Cotecna can seat back and provide necessary logistics, while the Customs officers make use of their acquired knowledge.
Harping on the importance of capacity development, Rabiu explained that the future of destination inspection depends largely on adequate knowledge and capacity development among all stakeholders, saying that if the capacity is not in place there will be a lacuna in the process.
“Valuation is the core of destination inspection and if we are to hand over the lots, vis-à-vis the sea ports, air ports and land borders under us to customs, we need enough officers to be trained in other to take over” he said.