Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed yesterday commissioned three mobile cargo scanners at APM Terminals in Apapa Port, Lagos.
Each scanner, according to the minister, has the capacity to process up to 500 containers in a day.
She called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), port terminal operators and all stakeholders to cooperate with the Nigeria Customs Service to take full advantage of the scanners.
The Minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for granting approval for the procurement and installation of the scanners and also the training of 120 Customs officers.
“The commissioning of these three non-intrusive scanners is in line with efforts to expedite Customs operations and achieve its mandate of ease of doing business, trade facilitation and preventing port congestion.
“These three scanners will help increase revenue for the government and improve national security. It will also help enhance the remote audit trail of goods within the port system,” she said.
Speaking, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) expressed hope that the new scanners would greatly enhance the capacity of the Service to defend the country and ensure prompt delivery of cargo for scanning and evacuated from the ports once certified by the compliant officers and other regulatory agencies.
He further disclosed that the scanning process will not only reduce the stress associated with positioning , off-loading and taking inventory of containers as well as store recorded images in a safe format easily accessible by all agencies from the comfort of their offices.
Ali said “We know that the equipment will be of special benefit to manufacturers who import homogeneous items in large volumes. We also know that importers of high-risk goods will no longer have any place to hide, so we are hereby putting recalcitrant traders on notice. They either change or be ready to face the full consequences of their actions”.