Abiola Seun |
House of Representatives yesterday said that lack of scanners at the various ports was compromising the nation’s security.
The House said the ill development has exposed the country to possible importation of illegal arms and ammunition into the country.
Chairman, House Technical Committee on Customs and Excise, Hon. Leke Abejide, made the observations when he led other members of the committee on an oversight of Customs formations in Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service with headquarters in Port Harcourt.
He said that the absence of functional scanners at Customs formations nationwide with its concomitants of illicit arms activities had led to loss of financial resources.
The lawmaker also decried the abandonment of scanners purchased for the Customs over the years after removing them from the companies that installed and given them to another company which according to him lacked the technical capacity to handle the equipment.
He gave the assurance of a comprehensive investigation into the matter by the House.
The Committee however expressed disappointment over the long years of abandonment of the multi-million dollars scanners and insisted that even though there was the need to provide more scanners for the Customs, there was also the need to out-source the service.
The members wondered why the scanners were taken away from the company that installed them and given to another company without the capacity to handle them.
Abejide also underscored the need to declare an emergency on the roads leading to the ports in the zone to avoid degeneration.
The lawmaker, however, said that the Committee will work with Customs Service to rid the system of those he identified as quack agents operating in the nation’s port.
According to him, many of the agents had no identifiable offices.
In his remarks, the Comptroller of the Onne Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Auwal Mohamed told the delegation that the zone generated about 136 million dollars from export within the zone between 2019 and 2020.
He said the poor access roads to the port and lack of containers were a big challenge to export activities, adding that the volume of export from the zone will increase with good access roads and rail line linking the port as well as an increase in revenue collection.
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