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Customs should face revenue, trade facilitation, outsource scanner issues—LCCI

The Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf has joined the league of stakeholders calling for outsourcing of scanning and its maintenance at the nation’s entry points including air and seaports.

Speaking in an interview in Lagos, he said there is need for government to invest a lot more in facilities at our ports including scanners.

According to him, if government is making so much revenue from the ports, government should be able to plough back a bit of it to ensure that there are facilities.

However, he pointed out that “Customs cannot do everything,” stressing that “Customs should face the issue of revenue collection and trade facilitation. Things that have to do with scanners and their maintenance should be outsourced”.

“It doesn’t have to be the Customs that will be managing scanners. That is contributing to the inefficiency and the challenges we have with the scanners because Customs is operating within a bureaucratic structure unlike if you have a private sector company that knows that it has the responsibility to manage and maintain these scanners, the response time to fix the scanners will be shorter and they will be able to deal with it faster.

“But if you leave it to the Customs to manage and run and something goes wrong with the scanners before you do a memo get the hierarchy to approve it, you know how a bureaucracy works.

In his further submission, the LCCI chief observed that “We can’t use a bureaucratic structure to drive a business enterprise. It will cripple the business”.

“That is what is happening to the issue of the scanners. So we need to separate those responsibilities and outsource handling of the scanners to those who have the expertise to do it. So there is issue of investment, there is also the issue of the structure of operations. We need to tackle it from those two angles,” Yusuf averred.