Clearing agents operating at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, have faulted the claim of the Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Musa Jubrin that scanners at the premiere port were functional.
Jubrin had while speaking on the state of the scanning machines at the port told journalists in Lagos recently that not all cargoes are subjected to 100 percent physical examination as some also go through scanning.
According to him, “The scanners at the port are always in use. They are functional but at this point, I cannot give you the number of cargoes that are scanned and those that pass through 100 percent physical examination.”
But a clearing agent, Dom Onyeka said the claim by the Customs Controller was far from the truth. According to him, “The CAC’s claim is not true. The scanners are not working. Even if your container is allocated to scanning section, they still do physical examination and release in the scanning section. The containers are actually not scanned but physically examined.”
Onyeka said physical examination has hampered quick cargo clearance at the port as all consignments are now subjected to it. Also speaking, a chairmanship aspirant, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Apapa chapter, Tanko Ibrahim refuted the claim of the Customs boss, saying the scanners are in a bad state.
“That is what the Customs will tell you but the truth is that the scanners at the port are not working. If they work today and don’t work tomorrow, it simply means they are not working.
“It is not even the working of the scanners that is the issue; the major problem we have is that even when they route your container for scanning, they will tell you it has entered suspect and you have to go back to reposition for examination. So people prefer to go for physical examination,” he said.