Nigeria: Revisiting NCS' Failed Scanners Purchase

Eromosele Abiodun writes that the Nigeria Customs Service should capitalise on its existing information communication and technology platform that has robustly supported its revenue collection drive, provide scanning services and back off its nebulous chase for a more costly options.

In February 2017, during an inspection tour of the ports in Lagos, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Alli (rtd) had promised to end the long wait for cargo scanners to be provided at the ports and guaranteed that scanners would be provided in the first quarter of 2018.

Specifically, he had said: "New cargo scanners to arrive in Nigeria next year. The new scanners would arrive the ports by the first quarter of 2018, to make cargo examination easier, faster & Surer."

Responding to stakeholders' demand for the audit of N9.2 billion scanners at the ports, the CGC had noted that: "After examining the scanners, only two can be immediately repaired and put to use, but the others will be repaired over time."

At another forum on October 4, 2017, the CGC again promised, saying: "Hopefully, before a couple of months from now, we will have scanners at the ports."

However, three years after his first promise, no single scanner has been acquired by the NCS, fueling speculation that the NCS boss' promise was just a political statement.

Since 2015 when the last batch of scanners installed at the nation's seaports was handed over to the government under conditions contravening....

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