The Nigerian Customs Service has yet to make cargo scanners operational and is continuing with 100% physical examination

Despite the acquisition and deployment of scanners at the seaports of Apapa, Tin-Can Island, Lagos and Onne, Port Harcourt, by the federal government to expedite the inspection of cargoes and the rapid evacuation of cargoes from the seaport, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is yet to make the equipment operational at the various points of entry into the country.

Expectations that the rollout would bring about a positive change in cargo clearance, eliminate delays and improve timely delivery of cargo to owners by clearance agents have however been dashed as the service still performs a 100% review. cargoes.

With 100% review, importers incur huge demurrage charges from shipping lines and storage charges from terminal operators.

Speaking on the lack of scanners at ports, the Chairman of the Nigerian Port Consultative Forum (NPCF), Kunle Folarin, said that the burden of demurrage incurred by importers or consignees due to the lack of scanners at ports , will be passed on to the consumer, which will create another level of inflation in the economy.

He said that even if customs were satisfied with a physical examination and 100% inspection of cargoes, they would sabotage all efforts to ensure that scanners arrive and are installed in ports due to the enormous money they receive illegally.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Association of Lagos Shippers (SALS), Reverend Jonathan Nicol, said Nigeria was losing over N800 billion a month due to lack of round-the-clock port operations and about 9.6 trillion naira lost in one year.

According to Nicol, the port is a money-spinning machine as payments are made daily to shipping companies, terminal operators, customs, carriers, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at the ports.

“If you take out 1,000 containers, add in customs duties, shipping and terminal fees, transportation and even black market transactions, you’ll understand the amount at stake,”