Provide scanners for Customs or quit, Senate tells terminal operators
Relying on the provisions of the concession agreements signed, the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise, has reminded all terminal operators in the ports to provide scanners for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) cargo scanning operations in the ports.
Before now, investigations have shown that scanners provided and used by the Customs in many commands have either parked up or currently beyond repairs, thus constituting undue delays in clearing of imported good.
Chairman Senate Committee on Customs and Excise, Senate Hope Uzodimma representing Imo West (Orlu) senatorial District said that the terminal operators should provide scanners as enshrined in the concession agreement otherwise the senate will be forced revoked their contracts and give it to those who are willing and ready to provide scanners for customs.
While maintaining that with the current economic downturn, the customs cannot use its hard earn revenue generated to procure scanners for its operations, adding that trade facilitation is a core function of the NCS and the Senate was interested to reduce cost of doing business at the ports.
He said “The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is the operators of the seaports but in the Concession agreement the NPA transfers that responsibility to concessionaires and they have to play the role of the NPA”
“And NPA become the regulators, so why should the government that is already in recession begin to borrow many to buy scanners that the terminal operators are suppose to buy”
“We in the senate are looking at it from a different perspective because the position of law the protect us and we will hide on that and enforce it and those who are not ready to buy the scanners will have to leave and we will bring people that are ready to buy the scanners to come do business in Nigeria”
According to him, government will review the agreement and it is also going to access performances of the concessionaires and those that are not been able to live up to expectations may have to leave.
He said “By the CEMA Act 31 which we operate, it is the terminal operators that provide facilities and equipment,: noting that “Why is it that they did not tell the customs to buy folk lifts and cranes ; these are facilities that are provided under the laws but unfortunately government concession the ports from NPA to these unserious terminal operators. “
“The Nigerian government will take a review to look at some of the agreements and we are going to look at performance of the operators and those who have not performed to expectation, their concession agreement will be cancelled”