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N20bn Required To Purchase New Equipment For Ports Operations- CG Customs

Comptroller General of Customs Hameed AliThe Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali, has said that the service would require N20 billion to purchase new equipment for its operations at the ports.

He made the disclosure on Friday in Abuja when the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, went on a facility inspection of Customs operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

Ali said that the equipment, when purchased, would ease the operations of officials and boost revenue generation.

The equipment are scanners and others that will enhance the functions of the service.

“It will enhance trade facilitation and the moment, we can make a seamless operation for traders and passengers, they will want to fly from our airports.They will also want to do business with us that will improve revenue generation’’, he said.

He said that the equipment were needed because the old ones were no longer serving the needs of the nation.

“It is not about the longevity but the modernisation of the equipment.High definition scanners are coming in and what we have will not meet with the present situation, so we need to review the old system, get new ones and deploy them.”

“So it is not a matter of how long, if a scanner was bought yesterday but it does not meet with the present requirements, we will have to change it’’, he explained.

Earlier, Adeosun said that the inspection was necessary to assess the need for new equipment since Customs was one of the big revenue generating and security agencies of the nation.

She also said that the new equipment would serve as investment to the nation.

“The offices are doing extremely good job but we need more technology and modern equipment because you need to be able to scan suitcases and have a prior knowledge of what is inside.The days where Customs opens suitcases to search without information are over so we really need to invest in equipment that customs need to improve its performance.”

“The equipment that we are buying are an investment, we know that the increase in efficiency of revenue collection will pay for the equipment.This is because at the moment it is quite inefficient the way we do things and we want to improve efficiency and so the increase in efficiency of revenue collection will pay for the equipment.”

“We are very confident that the team can then deliver our objectives as part of the 2016 budget’’, she said.

She noted that the new equipment would make doing business at the ports faster as containers would be scanned and cleared faster without having to open them.

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