Customs Receives Two Mobile Scanners for Greater Efficiency
By Adedapo Adesanya
- To Deploy Drones at Seme Border Soon
- Claims N719m Revenue, Processes 635,149.23 metric tons valued at N15.5 billion
The Nigeria Customs Service, Tincan Island Area Command, has taken delivery of two NUCTECH Mobile Scanners MT1213DE with accessories.
The equipment arrived on board Glovis Horizon Leader from the Port of Shanghai, China on Monday, according to a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Uche Ejesieme.
The Area Controller, Mr Abdullahi Musa, who received the consignment, said, “Integration of scanning into the clearance procedure for imports was in line with global best practices for trade facilitation.”
He said that the key objective of deploying scanners was to reduce the time needed for physical inspection of goods which generated extensive cost and created multiple burdens and inconveniences for both importers and customs.
He expressed delight at the development and thanked the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Mr Hameed Ali, and the entire agency’s management team for the feat.
“Recall that the CGC on assumption had promised to reform, restructure and raise revenue; these scanners will constantly enhance trade facilitation and consequently lead to increased revenue,” he said.
He assured stakeholders that the deployment of the scanners would result in increased cargo handling and greater efficiency in the trade value chain.
In a related development, the NCS noted that it will soon deploy drones at Seme for effective patrol in checking smuggling activities in the border area.
This was revealed by the Zone A Coordinator and Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) of Customs, Mrs Modupe Aremu, during a working visit to Seme Border Area Command.
She said border management surveillance will be done electronically through the use of drones to ensure that there will be an area overview of what is happening.
She said, “Seme command visit is the end of my tour in Zone A and I must commend all the commands, they account for over 80 per cent of revenue collection by the NCS and so they should keep up the good work.
“With the tour of all commands, I have seen that all the officers are doing well but they can still do better. And I am telling them that they should be expecting impromptu visits from the Zonal Coordinator, so they should not relax on the job.
“Also, e-customs N300 billion contract that is end-to-end automation that is about to kick-off is about Information and Communication Technology connectivity; when it comes on board, we are going to have an electronic signature, drones patrolling the border.”
She noted that the service was trying to minimize person to person contact to reduce human interaction and make the work faster and more efficient.
Mrs Aremu expressed satisfaction with the joint border post buildings that was commissioned on October 23, 2018, noting that it ushered in an era of coordinated border management.
“This is one-stop-shop and from what the comptroller has shown me, it is what is practised abroad; this is really commendable that what we see when we travel, we have it here in Nigeria,” she said.
She urged Seme Customs to keep abreast of all the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols in order to understand what was happening.
On enforcement activities, she urged the command to keep pushing as the nation at this point in time needed the service to properly secure its borders.
She expressed the hope that the scanner at the border would start functioning to help simplify processes as much as possible, urging the command to ensure proper compilation of case files and prosecution of arrested suspects to show the seriousness of the service in fighting smuggling.
On his part, the Seme Customs Comptroller, Mr Bello Jibo, noted that enforcement activities were not affected by the border closure as the command made a remarkable interception of 1,244 suspected smuggled goods with a duty paid value of over N856 million.
He noted that despite unfriendly economic policies imposed on goods transiting through the Benin Republic, the command was able to collect about N719 million as revenue and processed export volume of 635,149.23 metric tons with a free on board value of N15.5 billion.