CEM REPORT | With the new scanners deployed to the ports and border points set to become operational, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will examine 400 containers daily, the service has disclosed.
You would recall that the Comptroller-General of the NCS, Hameed Ali, had disclosed in January at a press briefing in Abuja, that service was set to deploy 135 scanners to airports, seaports and all border entry of the country, that in the next two years, all points of entry and exit would have scanners.
Addressing stakeholders yesterday in Lagos, during a sensitisation meeting held with port stakeholders ahead of the commencement of container scanning at the ports, the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs on Modernisation and ICT, Saidu Galadima, explained that the scanners will examine a container in 35 seconds and will have four hours of rest every day.
“On capacity, the scanners will scan 400 containers daily with four hours to rest. For every 20 feet container, the scanner will take an average of 35 seconds each to scan. For every 40ft container, the scanners will scan them at an average of 55 seconds each.
“The scanners have been configured into our NICIS 2 platform. During image analysis, clearing agents won’t have any business there. The image analysis area will be a ‘no go’ zone for agents. The scanning area will be a controlled area. We won’t allow people to loiter there.
“For physical examination, we aim to ensure that the scanning percentage will be higher than the number of containers that will be subjected to physical examination,” he explained.
Galadima further explained: “All activities will start after the scanning process has been completed. When the vessel berths, the containers will be scanned before they are taken to the stacking area where cargo declarations will start. All the scanning processes would have been completed before agents make their declarations. He said the scanning will be run on the shift of morning, afternoon and perhaps night, depending on the flow of business.
According to the Customs ACG, “This sensitisation is very key to the success of the non-intrusive technology that Customs is set to commence at the ports. The management of the NCS has directed us to come and sensitise stakeholders on the flow of how the new regime will work.
“The essence behind the new technology is based on trade facilitation. Only compliant traders will celebrate. If you are compliant enough, you won’t have any contact with any Customs officer. Cargoes will be released without anybody needing to go to any Customs office.
“We all have to make it work. If agents decide to cut corners, they will bear the cost of delay associated with a physical examination. So, being compliant will benefit all of us,” he said.