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CARGO INSPECTION CONTRACT EXTENSION 'LL BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE - EXPERTS

By NBF News
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http://www.nigerianbestforum.com/blog/?attachment_id=122063 Experts have given the federal government's decision to extend the contract of private companies known as Destination Inspection Concessionaires for another six months knocks, saying the decision smacks of insincerity, lack of political will and insistence on keeping the 'boys' happy.

They said the recent move will put doubts on the minds of investors as it was the height of policy summersault.

Stakeholders said government's decision to extend the contract for Destination Inspection (DI) concessionaires is not a wise one.

President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and a frontline industry player, Eugene Nweke said: 'This service does not add any concrete value to cargo clearing system in Nigeria. This is a contract that has lasted about seven years, the same government has not gone on break, the same government is siting with all its security paraphernalia. This way the government has only allowed the Nigeria Customs to embark on wastage over time by carrying out sensitisation for industry stakeholders.

'Now this one per cent Free on Board (FOB), which is the attraction to this whole thing, does it add to our GDP? It goes into personal pockets'

Nweke is annoyed that the services they are rendering oftentimes do not correspond with Customs physical examination, wondering, of what need is it? He said what the situation should be is to have Customs do a physical inspection of cargo and give value.

'Talking about the scanner, yes, we are trying to evolve a system to tackle our security situation. In this case, efforts should be geared towards ensuring that the Customs are trained properly and effectively to handle the scanning machines. Also, the terminal operators should be encouraged to acquire scanners. I think that for government to have waited for the dying minute to extend the direct inspection (DI) concessionaires' contracts by six months is a not good decision. It should have done that much earlier than now. In fact, it is never necessary and this is policy summersault in its worst form', he said.

Nweke also said government's decision showed that it was not serious about claims to build indigenous capacity.

The letter extending the three service providers was signed on 31st December, 2012, extending their service in the seaports, airports and international borders beyond last year.

National President, Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) and member, technical sub-committee of the presidential committee on port reforms, Prince Olayiwola Shittu said, 'the extension was very unnecessary. What they should have done is to allow some days for transition, so that the system for which we have all prepared and which will save government N15 million every month, plus the fact that this is home-grown, could come to stay.

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CARGO INSPECTION CONTRACT EXTENSION 'LL BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE - EXPERTS