FG Bows To NAGAFF Compliance Team’s Demand
* Installs 3 New scanners
*Compliance Team Commends Customs.
By F. O.
In an apparent reaction to the petition by NAGAFF’s 100 % compliance Team to the office of the National Second Adviser and copied the Customs Area Comptroller (CAC),Apapa Customs command,and the Management of APMT ,over complaints of poor performance of scanner at Apapa Port , delays and extortion of freight Forwarders,the Federal Government has acceded to this demand by installing three new additional scanners at the Apapa Port .
The Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed while commissioning the newly installed mobile scanners at the Apapa Port recently said Efforts were being made by the federal government to procure and bring in more scanners to the seaports, land borders and airports .
The Scanners, she disclosed, have the capacity to dictate prohibited imports concealed in cargos as well as enable up to 500 cargoes to be scanned in a day which brings about the desired effectiveness and efficiency in cargo examination processes
According to a release by the Compliance Team made available to the press,National Coordinator of the Team Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko stated that investigations showed that there is now reduction in the Debit Notes issued by the Terminal operator, APMT in recent times.
The NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team National Coordinator, who reacted to this development thanked the Nigeria Customs Service for their prompt intervention while expressing hope that other issues raised in their letter of compliant would be resolved soon.
Recall that the Team in a letter addressed to the Area Comptroller Nigeria Customs Service , Apapa Command dated 7th October, 2022, Complained that the deployment of scanners at the Premier Port Complex , Apapa has suffered set back following sharp practices of the members of staff of APMT Terminal
Alhaji Tanko who also addressed the Press on the issue however warned that if no significant changes or improvement in the services at the Terminal, they(freight forwarders) would withdraw their services in protest of the poor services, extortion, bribery and deliberate acts to force demurrage on freight forwarders.
He posited that the reintroduction of scanners was as a result of security challenges but lamented that one scanner at the Terminal was not enough to meet the demands at the terminal.
The 100% Compliance Team National Coordinator recalled that APMT officials had earlier during a meeting in Abuja promised to scan up to 800 containers per day but that the operator could hardly scan 50 containers in a day.
Tanko who is also board member of NAGAFF as well as Governing Council member , Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), however in the letter urged the CAC Apapa Command to consider physical examination for some of the declarations to ease the pressure on the Premier Port with the volume of ships and quantum of containers coming into it.
He also called for increase in the number of scanning machines in operation to at least 4 or five to meet the volume of declarations, as well as deploying more officers to the scanners while advocating for the E- Customs(Electronic Selection Process), which according to him is the best option in the circumstance.