The National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Agents (ANLCA); Mr Tony Iju Nwabunike has said deployment of scanners to the nation’s seaport is not likely to stop corruption, but can only reduce bottlenecks in manual operation and increase sensitivity and turnaround time at the nation’s port.
Nwabunike in a recent chat with our correspondent noted that there is no assurance of total eradication of corruption if the scanners are deployed, but said the scanners will help facilitate 24 hours’ port operation as mandated by the federal government.
“Scanners are not going to assure total eradication of corruption, but it’s going to reduce bottlenecks in manual operation and it’s going to increase the sensitivity of what is in the container without going physical, it’s going to turn around time and it’s going to be fast and will help the essence of 24 hours’ mandate, but it’s not going to totally eradicate corruption”, he argued.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that last year, the Federal Government approved $3.1bn for the automation of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) operations be funded through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
According to the Federal Government, Custom modernization will lead to improvement in clearance efficiency, facilitate trade as well as boost the confidence of all stakeholders. As a result, revenue generated by the NCS is expected to increase exponentially to N66.88trn ($176bn) over a 20-yr period, which comes to N3.34trn ($8.8bn) annually.
The NCS is expected to have over 130 scanners when the consortium of companies that has been approved by the Federal Government and led by Messrs Y Technologies are fully operational. This is apart from other scanners that have been given to the service by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance.
When asked if the scanners given to the NCS by CBN and the Ministry of Finance was part of the modernization project, the National Public Relation Officer of NCS, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah informed that the scanners given to the service by the CBN and the Ministry of Finance was just an intervention and not part of the scanners the consortium companies will provide.
He explained that, “the e- customs is handled by a consortium of companies, they are the ones who will provide the money to install the scanners and other things, they will only be taking their money back in bit, up to 20 years, it is the consortium that will fund it not Federal government
“We have about seven now, so before this people commence their own that will be up to 135, so very soon by the grace of God all our entry points will have scanners, so basically everywhere we have scanners and that will be a new customs service that will help us”, he said.