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APFFLON accuses Customs of sabotage over  scanner breakdown

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Segun Oladipupo

Africa Association of Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has accused the Nigeria Customs Service of deliberate act of sabotage to ground cargo scanners at the ports.

The group believed that  purchase of new scanners may not solve the problem of scanners getting damaged again in the ports.

The group of freight forwarders added that the problem is most likely to repeat itself if no individual or agency is held responsible for the maintenance of the scanners.

This stance is made known to nigeriamaritime360 in a press statement on Monday.

The group of freight forwarders through the President, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite stated that the problem responsible for collapse of scanners is lack of maintenance culture by the agency charged with responsible to handle the scanners.

“Our position in APFFLON is unprejudiced and with respect to the issue of non performing contract after its completion

“It is important to point out that we are not here to jeopardize, accuse or undermine any individual(s), organisation involved in this initiative

“However, as believers in new vibrant, corruption- free and transparency enthroned practices in the maritime industry, the following are our suggestions as a body for the way forward on this issue

“The problem confronting Nigeria’s modernisation of cargo examination process obviously has nothing to do with our inability  to purchase scanners but everything to do with a poor maintenance culture, lack of transparency and accountability.

“The purchase of scanners without any attempt on the part of government to reach out to OEM in order to ascertain if the old scanners can be salvaged, proved this.

“Purchasing a new set of scanners is not the solution, the problem will most likely repeat itself if no individual or agency is held responsible for their maintenance.”

Earlier in the statement, the group had alleged that there were clear possibilities of deliberate sabotage on the part of the Nigeria Customs Service and other players who aligned with them to ensure that the system failed for their selfish reasons.

He queried the rationale behind the contract termination of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) technicians when it was obvious that the Nigeria Customs Service did not have the capacity to maintain the scanners.

He queried further on what basis did Nigeria Customs claim to have employed other foreign technicians for the maintenance after the manufacturer technicians were sacked.

“The question that could come to the mind of every right thinking person is upon failure to get the machine fixed by the foreign technicians claim to have employed for maintenance of the scanners, what stop the Nigeria Customs Service from calling back the manufacturers (OEM) technicians to continue where they stopped?

“On the performance and evaluation of the Service Providers, the Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited (CDIL), SGS Nigeria Limited and Global Scan Limited.

“It is on record that Service Service Providers handed over fully functional scanners to the Customs and the scanners were all upgraded to the most current system and certified to be in good condition in accordance with their contract with the Nigerian government,” he averred.

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