There are indications that the scanners at the nation’s seaports may have been deliberately abandoned by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS to enable 100 per cent examination of consignments.
This, iBrandTV learnt has opened the door for human contact which breeds corruption and other vices at the port.
Recall that the Federal Government reached an agreement through Public, Private, Partnership, PPP with four Service Providers for the acquisition and installation of scanners at the nation’s ports and border post.
The scanners were purchased and installed at Apapa, Tin-can Island and Onne ports as well as some border post in the country.
The agreement with the Service Providers was to operate the scanners for a period of time and then hand over to the Customs after training of its officers and men to handle and operate the scanners.
However, less than a month after handing over of the scanners investigations revealed that all of them are no longer being used by the Service.
Speaking on the development, National President of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero, has demanded for the probe of abandoned scanners at the port by the NCS.
Contrary to claims by the NCS that the scanners were old and obsolete, Amiwero noted that they were good and in working condition when they were handed over to the Customs by the Service Providers engaged by the Federal Government for the provision of the facility.
Amiwero who made the demand in an exclusive chart with Vanguard while responding to the expected delivery of brand new scanners, noted that until the cause of the abandoned scanners are ascertained, acquisition of new ones may be a waste of money.
According to him, “There is supposed to be an investigation of what happened to those scanners, the federal government have not gained anything from those scanners.
“The people they transferred it to, there is need for an investigation to determine why those scanners are not working because that was an investment that was supposed to be a process for development for the country. So all the scanners that collapsed are supposed to be investigated because if Customs is bringing three new scanners, what happened to the old ones?
“I am a member of the Presidential Taskforce on Customs Reform. The former scanners are pre-investment, what we did before was post investment. Pre-investment means that the people who provided the scanners, the people who procure the scanners and worked with the scanners and transferred to government in line with the provisions of the contract.
“We are supposed to have what is called post investment, which is supposed to be with the old scanners, the present scanners are not old. You cannot be spending government money like that” he noted.