Apapa Customs Orders 100% Physical Inspection ...Sidelines Use of Electronic Scanners.
Consequential, to the increase in arms importation through the Lagos sea ports the Apapa Customs Command has resorted to a 100 per cent cargo inspection forsaking the technological use of scanning machines.
The Customs Area Comptroller of the Command, Comptroller Musa Jibrin who gave the instructions that all containers leaving the ports should be subjected to a 100 per cent examination said, "We have resorted to 100 per cent examination of containers. Presently, it is almost compulsory for all containers to be examined 100 per cent in order to ensure that what the importer declared is contained correctly.
"We also have weekly management meetings where everybody brings in his/her reports."
Compt. Jibrin who made this known through the Public Relations Officer, Nkiru Nwala iterated:
"With the ease of doing business order, a central customs examination centre was created. This also helps to bring about a working interface between Customs and other agencies as regards examination, it has made the process faster.
"As at today even with the scanners that we have, you see what happened in Tin-Can (Ports), we are trying as much (because) lightening at the ports has improved. So if there was need for any physical examination light would not be a problem.
"It is no longer news that we have need for more scanners. The government has given their word and we believe them."
Citing an instance at the performance of AP Moller Terminal (APMT), Nwala has this to say, "APMT is complaining that generally business is slow even with the available scanners. It is not as if they are maximally utilised but these are not serious issues if business picks up."
Nwala however decried the non-chalance of Customs agents in coming forward to clear their goods at night and use whatever facilities that have been provided by the Customs and terminal operators.
In her words, "We tried to find out from the agents why they do not come forward to take delivery of their cargoes at night and according to them business is slow.
"We all know that Nigeria is just coming out of recession and generally it has affected flow of business. Even beyond the bad roads business is gradually picking up and we are not yet done with cargoes cleared in the afternoon," she disclosed.
On the Ease of Doing Business order as issued by the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, Nwala explained, " From the day the Ease of Doing Business (order) was issued, we have rostered our men . It is left for the agents to come forward. APMT is on ground, NPA is also on ground," she reiterated.