The Nigerian government has, this week, approved the contract sum of $18.12 million and N3.255 billion for the supply and installation of Rapiscan mobile cargo scanners at three of its international ports.
The large size cargo scanners will be placed in Onne port, Port Harcourt port, and Tin Can port, according to the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed while speaking with the media in Abuja at the end of the 9th virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Her words: “Today at council we presented two memos, the first memo was for seeking council’s approval for the revision of a contract that was previously approved by council in 2018 for the supply and installation of three numbers Rapiscan mobile cargo scanner. “These are large size cargo scanners that will be placed in Onne port, Port Harcourt port, and Tin Can port. They are scanners that can actually drive containers through.
Scanners will bring speed and efficiency
Installation of the scanners will put speed and efficiency in custom processes; eliminating need for physical examination and ensuring that contraband are properly with the high precision devices, said Ahmed.
“That will fasten cargo examination and reduce the need for the Customs to open containers and do the physical inspection as they are doing now that is causing us a lot of time as well as the loss of revenue.
“The scanners are designed to aid effective revenue collection, the features that will screen for narcotics, weapons and undeclared items, they can also dictate arms and ammunition, legal importation and possession of arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria.
“The presence of these scanners will obviate the need for physical examination of goods and fast track the trade business report. This contract is for the Nigeria Customs Service,” she added.
The contract was reviewed upward to reflect the changing dynamics of FOREX and tax regime, Ahmed explained.
Her words: “This contract is awarded to a company that is named Messrs Airwave limited and the contract is in the sum of $18.12 million of foreign component, there is also a local component of N3. 255 billion inclusive of five percent VAT.
“The review became necessary in order to accommodate VAT which was not included in the initial contract and also due to dispute that we had arising from exchange rate differential. So we have now a resolution and an understanding and FEC approval for this contract to go on.”