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New Apapa port cargo scanners raise concerns

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

Stakeholders raise concerns over the efficiency of the new cargo scanners.

The efficiency of the new cargo scanners in Apapa ports has been put into question as stakeholders throw tantrums over the efficacy of the cargo scanners and its effect on trade facilitation a few weeks after installation. Some clearing agents claim that the facility operation is slow, thereby resulting in delays in clearing cargo, while some Customs officers also alleged that the clearing agents are frustrating the scanner by requesting 100 percent cargo examination.

Months ago, the cargo scanners were deployed by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in a sequel to stakeholders’ uproar, particularly clearing agents and importers, on the issue of congestion at the ports. It was then further deployed to Apapa, Tin-Can, and Onne seaports to expedite port services and the shipping of goods. However, the National Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Timi Bomodi, urges the stakeholders to be patient while the scanners are progressively put into service.

Slow operation of the scanners causes freight forwarders to pay more charges.

Chairman of Wealthy Honey Nigeria Limited, and the acting National President of the Association of the Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr. Kayode Farinto, acknowledges that scanning machines are a welcomed development at Nigerian ports, but the facility is currently causing delays in cargo clearance due to operational challenges. He stated that this is what operators have been yearning for, adding that no ethical importer or freight forwarder would oppose the usage of the scanning machines at the port.

Dr. Farinto, however, lamented that the use of the scanning machines is causing a lot of delays which propels the freight forwarders to pay demurrages and storage charges which hitherto were not factored into their contractual agreement with their clients. He said, notwithstanding, alarming rates of psychotropic substances are entering through the ports, which necessitates the need for the scanning machine to examine every cargo that enters the port, adding that any freight forwarder kicking against scanners is not a patriotic citizen.

Freight forwarders are discouraged by the scanning machine.

Furtherly, Dr. Farinto disputes freight forwarders’ assertion that most officials have signed a contract of clearance even before the vessel arrives in Nigeria, stressing that no businessperson would desire storage and demurrages to accumulate on their job. He stated that freight forwarders are not just thrilled and discouraged with the slow operation of the scanner, not that they don’t want it to be put to use, while customs also need to be up and do their job.

When compared to the fast operation at Tin Can Port, where no complaints are raised about the scanning equipment, Apapa port takes four to five days wait to examine containers. Dr. Farinto urged higher-ups in the Nigeria Customs Service to procure more scanning machines, saying that the current infrastructure cannot keep up with the influx of trade. A prominent freight forwarder, Eugene Nweke, responded to allegations made by Customs Officers that clearing agents were sabotaging the scanners by asking Customs to take Cargo through 100% physical examinations rather than the invasive scanners by labelling the claims an attempt to blackmail the professionals.

Nweke disclaims customs allegations on clearing agents.

Ultimately, he said that clearing agents have no say over the kind of inspections performed on shipments by Customs. Nweke emphasized that, from a practical standpoint, no licensed agent has ever been given the authority to choose the specific clearance intervention procedure that a certain shipment would undertake. A licensed agent does not have the final say over whether a shipment will pass through the red, yellow, or blue channel; rather, such selections are made purely by the core imputed selectivity capabilities of the Nigeria Customs’ NICIS 2 site.


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Ultra0711
Ultra0711
1 year ago

I’d also urge freight forwarders and stakeholders to be patients for the time being cause looking at the advantages of the scanning machines in the long run its an immense one. Illicit goods can be easily discovered before entering the country.

Abusi
Abusi
1 year ago

This cargo system is always slow. It will definitely reduce economical activities before the imported goods get to the final consumers. The authorities of the Apapa cargo port should try and make the process seamless for people.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
1 year ago

The usefulness of the scanner is very important it help to detect illegal goods before getting into the country, they have to be patience for the system and follow the procedure to make everything look fine

jdpumping
jdpumping
1 year ago

At this jet age if cargo scanner just gotten is not working to maximum and clearing agents are complaining of delays and other stuffs,this is so disheartening.

Christiana
Christiana
1 year ago

scanning machines are welcomed improvement in Nigerian ports, but the equipment is now causing delays in cargo clearance due to operational difficulties

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
1 year ago

Stakeholders’ complaints about the effectiveness of the new cargo scanners in Apapa ports have cast doubt on their usefulness.

Bola12
Bola12
1 year ago

While freight forwarders would want to see the scanner put to use, they are both pleased and frustrated by its slow performance. This is not to say that freight forwarders do not want to see the scanner used.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
1 year ago

scanner is very important and it help to detect illegal goods before getting into the country. We need to repair or get new ones

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
1 year ago

its good that as a result of protests from various stakeholders regarding the effectiveness of the cargo scanners, the effectiveness of the new cargo scanners that have been installed in the ports of Apapa has been called into question.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
1 year ago

the facility’s slow operation, which has caused delays in the clearing of cargo. Meanwhile, some Customs officers have claimed that the clearing agents are delaying the scanner by demanding that all cargo be examined.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
1 year ago

It is important for all parties involved to exercise patience as the scanners are gradually put into service so they can enjoy its full benefits

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
1 year ago

As a result of the clamor from stakeholders, especially clearing agents and importers, on the problem of port congestion, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) decided to use the cargo scanners.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
1 year ago

This is something that business owners have been wishing for for a long time, and it should be noted that no importer or freight forwarder who conducts themselves in an ethical manner would be opposed to the utilization of scanning equipment at the port.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
1 year ago

No licensed agent has ever been granted the right to determine the particular clearance intervention procedure that a particular shipment would conduct, and this is something that is something that we should be aware of from a practical aspect.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
1 year ago

the conclusion reached by the government that it is in the nation’s best interest to keep the border closed, since doing so would be damaging to the advancements that have been made and the accomplishments that have been obtained by the food security system during the period of its existence.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
1 year ago

The authorities of the Apapa cargo port should try and make the process seamless for people because the cargo system is slow.

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
1 year ago

This new systems of scanning cargo is go but time consuming. Maybe government should make more provision to hasten the process.

DimOla
DimOla
1 year ago

It has been proven that the scanner has been able to scan cargos with accuracy. However, if government can get more scanning device to accelerate the process of clearing cargos then there will be less complain and delay in processing.

theApr
theApr
1 year ago

The use of scanning technology at the port is something that business owners have been desiring for a long time, and it should be highlighted that no importer should ethically would object to this. however, to avoid delay in the scanning process, something should be done.

Remi1
Remi1
1 year ago

the cargo scanner is a good development.It is very crucial for proper assessing of items coming through the port. there just need to be some form of improvement to eliminate delay in clearing cargo.