The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hammed Ali, has said most of the scanners available at the nation’s ports are obsolete and need to be changed.
He disclosed this during a familiarisation tour and pre-passing out parade for cadets in Ikeja.
He added that he was committed to ensuring that the agency’s Vehicle Identification Number for valuation of imported vehicles succeeds.
According to Ali, the service has three mobile scanners in use at the nation’s ports. He added that it would soon deploy 135 scanners nationwide to boost border security.
He said, “On the scanners, you know, when I came in, most of the scanners have run down and the Information Technology components especially as regards to scanners are time-bound.
“The highest they will stay is about seven years and even the manufacturers of the scanners will tell you that after seven years, you may not get the spare parts again. So those ones went obsolete and we have to devise a means of getting scanners. We were lucky we worked with the Ministry of Finance and today we have three mobile scanners that have been deployed.
“They are high-dimension scanners, they are exceptionally dynamic so we hope this is an intervention. We hope that the E-Customs, which is my baby, will come into place and if it comes into place, we expect that 135 scanners will be deployed nationwide. And that will take care of borders, land borders, airports, and sea borders.”
According to him, the scanners will help to fast track and facilitate trade in the nation.
Commenting on the controversial VIN platform, Ali said, “It is now one valuation for the same type of vehicle anywhere.
“We are moving forward, we can’t be retrogressive, when the freight forwarders came up with their issue of not liking the platform I was surprised because these were the same people that put us on the edge. So, I think it has come to stay and we will make sure it succeeds.
“Anytime I come to the port, there has been this issue of uniformity for values. They have complained of multiple valuations when they go to Apapa, Port, and Terminal Multipurpose Limited, Tin-Can they get different values.”