Customs to Stop Physical Examination of Cargoes

The ministries of Transportation and Marine and Blue Economy, along with Nigerian Customs, have reached an agreement to discontinue the physical examination of cargoes at the country’s ports.

According to a statement jointly signed by the spokesperson to the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Ismail Omipidan and the Customs spokesman, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola; his Transportation counterpart, Senator Said Alkali and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, reached an agreement at a meeting in Abuja on Monday to prioritise the use of scanners to address the challenge of port congestion.

“They reasoned that the use of modern technologies like scanners was important to addressing the issue of port congestion, so as to ensure efficiency and competitiveness.

“To this end, Adeniyi has been charged with enforcing the use of scanners at the ports, just as they encouraged private investors to come in and invest in the deployment and maintenance of scanners at the nation’s ports,” the statement read in part.

They emphasised the role of technology in port optimisation, noting that the partnership had also endorsed the repair and optimisation of existing scanners at major ports, including Apapa, Tincan Island, Onne, and PTML.

They remarked that plans were in place to deploy mobile scanners strategically to facilitate cargo inspections.

At the meeting, the Nigerian Railway Corporation vowed to ensure effective freight of cargoes to inland container depots/dry ports as part of efforts to tackle congestion at major ports.

“This initiative is poised to relieve pressure on the major ports, with plans in motion for efficient evacuation of containers from Port Harcourt to Aba, and the prospect of future extensions to Onne Port,” it said.

The NRC also agreed to by-pass the fixed scanner at Apapa during the construction of rail tracks to ensure uninterrupted scanning processes, signalling a proactive and forward-thinking approach to technology integration.

The ministries and Customs also agreed to explore public-private partnerships to oversee the installation and maintenance of scanning technology, aiming to bolster sustainable efficiency and innovation in cargo inspection processes.