Reps Committee Makes U-Turn On Purchase Of More Scanners For Customs

LAGOS MAY 25TH (NEWSRANGERS)-The House of Representatives Committee on Customs has faulted the plans by the federal government to purchase four new scanners for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The NSC is planning to purchase scanners, while refusing to repair the existing ones.

However, the same committee had earlier okayed the purchase of the scanners when it approved the budget of the organisation.

In April, the House had warned against “China made scanners” and advised the apex bank to get German or American products.

Rescission of decision

Even though the House already approved the purchase, the committee, on Monday, made a U-turn and called for the repairs of the existing scanners instead.

The resolution was reached at the investigative hearing on the “need to investigate lack of transparency in the transfer of the technical know-how from Cotecna destination inspection limited and Global Scan System limited to the Nigeria Customs Service.”

Stephen Okon, the representative of the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said the government decided to buy new scanners because the manufacturer and service provider failed to provide spare parts.

This claim was countered by a representative of Smith Detection, manufacturers of the alleged faulty scanners, Manoj Jagtiani, who said the scanner can work perfectly for 20 years.

He noted that the same type of scanner was installed at the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, who was represented by Assistant Comptroller General, Aliyu Saidu, insisted that not all necessary equipment for the scanners were provided by the manufacturers.

Earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, while declaring hearing open, expressed dismay with the slow pace of the modernisation of the sector.

“Our purpose here today is to ascertain what happened to those machines, and to determine why despite the massive investments in the sector, we did not achieve the modernisation objectives that motivated the investment.”

The chairman of the committee, Leke Abejide (ADC, Kogi), said the use of scanners at the borders reduces bribery and corruption if properly installed.

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Posted by on May 25 2021. Filed under Business, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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