By DAPO OLAWUNI
In order to reduce the 100 percent examination of cargoes at the port, the Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said that it has fully commenced the use of it’s scanners which were procured by the service in 2021.
This is even as the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Tin Can chapter has commended the management of the customs service, advising them to ensure periodic maintenance of the scanning machines.
The newly deployed scanners by customs, has capacity to scan 35 containers in an hour.
Public Relations Officer of the Tin Can Customs Command, Mrs Nkiruka Nwala confirmed to DAILY TREND on Tuesday that “The scanners have started operations for a while now, including those in Apapa, and Onne”
Recall that the customs management took delivery of new scanners in September 2021, but despite that, the various commands still rely on manual examination of cargo, with freight forwarders complaining it takes over five hours to examine one container, thereby creating delays for consignees.
The Chairman of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Tin can Island Chapter, Chief Emeka Paul Chiedozie has applauded the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali for procurement of the scanning machines at the ports, he tasked customs on provisions for maintenance of the scanners.
Fwdr. Emeka stated this while fielding questions from journalist during an interactive section held at the Tin Can chapter Secretariat on Monday.
The NAGAFF Chairman spoke after paying a working visit to some agencies at the port including Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Police, Terminal Operators and shipping companies.
Fwdr Emeka lamented that the absence of functional scanners at the port over the years has caused freight forwarders to lose their importers to neighboring countries.
The NAGAFF Chairman stated that the previous scanners inherited by the customs management were mismanaged by the former service providers who never care about huge billions of Naira that Nigerian Shippers and NAGAFF members were losing on daily basis
“We freight forwarders that labour, and source for Cargoes from point of origin to final destination, we wouldn’t want to suffer that way again.
“Previous service providers killed our businesses and made our shippers to run to neighboring countries, that is one of the reasons why importation has dropped.
Freight forwarders were losing their profits to shipping companies through payment of demurrages”
“Deploying the scanner for use is a welcomed development, only if it is well utilized for the purpose of which it is meant for”