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Customs To Facilitate Trade With Deployment Of 135 Scanners At Ports

The Nigeria Customs Service has unveiled plans to deploy 135 scanners across all the ports and land borders of the country.

It said the deployment of the scanners would be completed in the next two years.

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali who disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that in the next two years, all point of entry and exit will have scanners.

He said all the scanners to be deployed by the Service in all the country’s entry and exit points would have the capacity to scan 20 containers in one hour.

Ali who spoke at a media briefing held on the sidelines of the 2022 International Customs Day celebrations themed: “Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Digital Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem,” stated that the scanners have the ability to store images.

The Customs CG stated that currently, three multidimensional scanners have been deployed in Apapa, Tin Can and Onne seaports to deepen trade.

He said, “We are a major contributor to economy of Nigeria. You can’t facilitate trade without revenue. Then the third arm is national security. No aspect of our mandate is raised above the other. They go hand in hand.

“They detect organic and inorganic substances. We can’t facilitate trade manually, hence our investments in digital operations.

“e-Customs will ensure we have 135 scanners in all our ports and land borders. In the next two years, no point of entry and exit will not have scanners.

“They have capacity to scan 20 containers in one hour. It’ll store images and we can do analysis with them.”

He also clarified that the 2022 revenue target given to the Service by the federal government is N3.1trn and not N4.1trn as reported by some sections of the media.

On accusations that Customs seems to be focused on revenue generation and not trade facilitation, Ali said the Service remains a major revenue generator and trade facilitator of the country as such cannot down play one role and promote the other.

Ali also spoke on the need for a Customs data ecosystem to be built on trust in recognition of the extensive volume of data the Service collects on actors in the international trade chain including the citizens, government agencies, local and transnational companies.

He noted that the growth NCS’ capacity to facilitate more trade transactions peaked at 858,843 transactions in 2021.

“This translates to 17.26 per cent increase in the volume of transactions handled in the year 2020. Another, patent result of our effort in this regard is in our landmark revenue collection of N2.28trn in 2021. All these would not be possible without digital transformation and scaling up the use of data”, he said.

In his goodwill message, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, said the focus of global Customs operations in 2022 will be on digital data that Customs administrations collect in large volume through digital technology.

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