N52bn scanner can only handle 400 containers per day ― Customs Says no diesel to power the scanners

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday revealed that the new non-intrusive inspection (NII) regime (scanners) can only handle 400 containers daily.

The scanners which were purchased at the cost of $120 million (N52billion) by the Federal Government were left to rot away partly because there was no diesel to run generators to power them at the ports and land border posts.

 The deployment of the much talked about scanner is expected to bring a positive shift in cargo clearance, eliminate delays and enhance timely delivery of cargoes to owners by clearing agents.

The deployment is expected to eliminate 100 per cent examination, which allows importers to incur huge demurrage and storage charges from shipping companies and terminal operators.

 Addressing stakeholders on Thursday in Lagos during a sensitisation meeting held with port stakeholders ahead of the commencement of container scanning operations at the ports, Assistant Comptroller General of Customs on Modernisation and ICT, Saidu Galadima, said the scanners will have four hours of rest every day.

 The ACG disclosed that the scanners will scan 400 containers daily with four hours to rest. For every 20 feet container, the scanner will take an average of 35 seconds each to scan. For every 40ft container, the scanners will scan them at an average of 55 seconds each.

“The scanners have been configured into our NICIS 2 platform. During image analysis, clearing agents won’t have any business there. The image analysis area will be a ‘no go’ zone for agents. The scanning area will be a controlled area. We won’t allow people to loiter there.

 “The essence behind the new technology is based on trade facilitation. Only compliant traders will celebrate. If you are compliant enough, you won’t have any contact with any customs officer. Cargoes will be released without anybody needing to go to any customs office.

“All activities will start after the scanning process has been completed. When the vessels berth, the containers will be scanned before they are taken to the stacking area where cargo declarations will start. All the scanning processes would have been completed before agents make their declarations.

“We have qualified customs officers who will be manning them. Although, the manufacturer, under our agreement with them, will station their technical personnel to oversee the running of the scanners, which are brand new; our officers have been trained to man those scanners,” he added.  (Daily Trust)

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