SIFAX boss urges Federal Government to concession scanners

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi

The Federal Government has been called to concession all the scanning machines in all the ports in the country as the current economic reality in the country has made it impracticable for the government alone to shoulder the responsibility of infrastructure provision in critical sectors of the economy.
Group Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi made the call in a release issued by Mr. Muyiwa Akande, Corporate Affairs Manager of the Group.
He said all the scanners presently are not working and without the scanners working the recent Executive Order of Ease of Doing Business targeted at making all the ports working 24 hour would be a futile exercise.
Afolabi said that most scanners are either completely broken down or functioning well below installed capacity, adding that this has left the personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service with no other option than to do 100 percent physical examination of cargoes that impedes quality and efficient service delivery that the Ease of Doing Business executive order is trying to address.
According to him, “Most scanners at our ports are either completely broken down or functioning well below installed capacity. This has left the personnel of the Nigerian Customs Service with no other option than to do 100 percent physical examination of cargoes. This comes with huge difficulties and impedes quality and efficient service delivery that the Ease of Doing Business executive order is trying to address.
“he model of concessioning is already a success in the maritime sector. The last 11 years of private sector involvement in port terminal management has brought great improvement to service delivery. I am convinced that such feat could be extended to the scanning service if the Federal Government gives private investors the opportunity of managing the process.”
Aside the improvement in service delivery, Afolabi also noted that functional scanners at the ports are necessary for national security in view of the recent cases of illegal arms importation through the nation’s sea ports.
He argued that such illegal importation would have been discovered during cargo examination with the aid of functional scanners.
Afolabi also backed the resolve of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to strictly enforce the approved number of security and government agencies at the ports, adding that such would greatly help fulfil the ease of doing business mandate.

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