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It may take more than two years to instal  scanners at ports — Customs 

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Segun Oladipupo

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has stated that it may take two years for the recently purchased scanners to commence operations at the ports.

Recall that three scanners were recently purchased by the Ministry of Finance and deployed to Apapa, Tincan and Onne ports for examination of goods imported into the country.

The scanners when installed, will speed up the process of container examination in the port and which will eventually lead to increased cargo turnaround time.

But it was gathered that the scanners may not be immediately put into use because of the procedures involved in installing the facility.

At an event at Apapa Customs Command on Monday, Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta, stated that it requires synchronisation of data as well as training of Customs operatives before the equipment can be put into use.

He explained that there are processes involved in installing scanners which may take a period of not less than two years before the scanners will completely be ready for use.

He said, “The scanner is not a thing that you just go into the market and say I am getting a scanner and you pay, it must be designed to user’s requirements.

“It is not an item that can be done within 2,3,4 months, it is an item that can be completed in a year or two years or even more.

“Now, we are doing synchronisation of data which means after training and retraining of our operatives as image analysts and operators of the scanner, we are now synchronising how the data will match with the data of NICIS 2 so that image can be analysed on the declaration.

“It is not something that you can just bring to the port and start using, it took more than seven years for those scanners to be in the port.

“If you can get your memory back, before we can instal the scanner, it took more than seven years,” he claimed.

Also speaking, Deputy National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi while supporting the submission of the Comptroller Yusuf, said that so many things are required to be on ground before the scanners can become operational.

He explained that the process is not as easy as it appears to the people, saying it requires training of personnel as well as configuration of the work environment.

His words, “The scanner is not a television set that you just plug in and start using. There are so many things that need to be put in place.

“The people that will use it need to be trained, the work environment must be configured to use these scanners and so many other factors and these are the things that the Service has put into consideration and we are in the process of getting those things right and once that is done, we will start using the scanners, there will be seamless deployment of containers and we will see the speed pick up fast,” he added.

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