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Published On: Wed, Mar 21st, 2018

FG to deploy more sophisticated scanning machine at airports

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From Suleiman Idris, Lagos

The federal government has disclosed plans to install additional full-body scanning machine at airports entries in Nigeria so as to reduce checking procedures that results in unnecessary delays of inbound passengers and goods by multiple security personnel.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo while speaking at the sideline of the 7th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum at the State House in Abuja acknowledged the cumbersome processes and frustration Nigerians, while returning from abroad are subjected to at the nation’s airports.
Hitherto, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has streamlined the check processes at the airports following the directive by the federal authority to ensure the ease of doing business in the country is fast track.
The VP said that “The point that was made especially about two people sitting together, questioning you and passing your passport from one person to the other, is what we are all generally irritated about.”
What is required according to him is i-check, “which is quite an elaborate device which enables us to get advance passenger information ahead of passengers arriving at the ports.
“This enables us to do two things; one, it enables us to give visas on arrival because you already have the information of the passenger.
“Secondly, it removes the necessity of more than one person checking the passport because you already have advance information, the other security person works from the backend. We expect that when that is installed, we would be able to achieve that and remove the nuisance of two, three people checking passports.
“Last week, we held a meeting with all the agencies that are usually at the ports, and you find that there are several of them. The idea is to reduce this number and ensure only those who must absolutely be there are there. There are some who don’t need to be there but rather be summoned when their services are required.”
The Vice President said the permanent solution the government was proposing for bringing in and taking out goods from Nigeria’s ports “is through our single window, the National Trading Platform.”
Osinbajo said the government had gone very far with that “and we expect that should be on stream very shortly. We are at the point where this is going to FEC for a final approval.”
“With the single window, a lot of the stress will be greatly reduced, and with the appropriate scanners run by concessions with PPP arrangements, we should be able to achieve greater ease of coming into our ports and exporting goods from our ports,” he added.

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