The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has said that it will continue physical examination of cargo for now because scanners which should aid e-examination are broken down.
Acting Comptroller General of Customs, ACG, in charge of Zone “A”, Charles Edike, who disclosed this in Lagos, said that the Service has no choice but to rely on physical examination as the scanners left by the Service Providers engaged by the Federal Government to provide and maintain them were “rotten.”
The customs boss explained that the Service could not be maintained because Customs do not have standing agreement with the manufacturers of the equipment.
According to him, “You know that when Service Providers were leaving they gave us rotten scanners, the scanners were bad. Customs does not have agreement with the manufacturers, Service Providers had it and therefore Customs was unable to meet them to come and do the servicing. There is grade one, two and three. We were able to do one or two but three had to be done by the manufacturers. I must tell you that efforts are being made to get the scanners working again.”
On the acquisition of new scanners he said “the CGC is already discussing with some people and soon all of these will be sorted out.”
He further noted that Zone “Ä” under him would focus on trade facilitation but would not sacrifice revenue collection and the war on smuggling for it.
He, therefore, charged officers and men of the Service to hold on to the rules of the Service in accordance to the new position of the leadership because anyone caught would be made to face the law.
He asked officers to continue to encourage legitimate trade by ensuring that cargo clearance documents are not unduly delayed except in cases where there are discrepancies in documentation.
He also charged clearing agents and other stakeholders to give Customs compliance to enable it serve them better. He explained that every stakeholder who is compliant in his or her transaction have nothing to fear while further directing such stakeholder to report any officer that try to hinder trade facilitation and leave the rest to the Service.
He added that the Zone under his watch will not be dormant as the Comptroller General has empowered the zonal offices to oversee the operations and performance of commands under each zone.
“The CGC has just said that everything the Zone was doing before should resume. He even said if revenue falls in any command, the Zonal coordinator will be held responsible,” he noted.