Importers Decry Global Scan Service At Seme Border
LAGOS – Importers and their clearing agents at Seme Border are in season of bitterness over huge loss to long demur rages, theft of cargo in buffer zone and time wastages as they are not able to get their trucks scanned by the destination inspection (DI) service provider, Global Scan systems Ltd.
When Biztellers visited the border few days ago, Global Scan’s mobile scanning machine, which is being used by the company to provide the DI service was idle as at 12.30pm, with tense queue of trucks laden with cargo waiting endlessly outside the gate of the company’s site.
The fixed scanning machine which the company installed a few months ago coming late after the seven-year initial term of the contract has elapsed, has not been put to use. Importers and agents who spoke with our correspondent at the border complained that the poor service by the DI service provider was a big blow to federal government’s 48 hours target for cargo clearing in the country.
One of the importers, Alhaji Aliyu Sule, told our correspondent that Global Scan’s DI service had been epileptic from the beginning, with the machine working for a few hours and getting cooled for more hours. He also said delay by Global Scan to issue Risk Assessment Report (RAR) to importers was a huge problem to importers and serious impediment to the 48 hours cargo clearing target of the federal government.
According to him, it took the company over one month to issue RAR to importers. The RAR is an indispensable document containing nature and details of consignment, with advice on payment of tariffs by the importer or clearing agent needed for clearing of cargo at the borders and ports.
He said:“If efficient, the machine should be able to scan minimum of four trucks in an hour and if the machine works for 12 hours, we should have 48 trucks scanned in a day. But here, once the machine works for three hours, it becomes overheated and has to be allowed to cool down for a minimum of three hours.”
“This comes with a cost. Image analysis sheet is illegible and the Customs cannot analyse the image analysis sheet generated by the scanning machine. Hence, the trucks are redirected for 100 per cent physical examination. Of what use is a scanning service when you have to also do a 100 per cent physical examination?”
Sule said he pays CFA50,000 (about N16,000) per day as demur rage charge on his trucks, which wait at least two weeks before they are scanned. When asked to speak with the scan site supervisor, our correspondent was told that he was not available. Other workers declined to talk because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.