By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives on Monday Summoned Global Scan to come and explain before it’s Committee on Customs and Excise what led to the non functional of the 22 scanners bought by the federal government at the cost of 120 million dollars in 2006 .
This was just as the Federal Ministry of Finance explained that lack of spare parts for the repairs of the 22 scanners bought for the Nigeria Customs Service led to the abandonment of the scanners, adding government making arrangement to buy new scanners for the Customs.
This however, does not going down with representative of Smith Detection, manufacturer of the Scanners, Manoj Jagtiani who said spare parts for the scanners are very much available, saying majority of the scanners located in various parts of the country can be repaired and made functional
The 22 scanners bought by the federal government at the cost of 120 million dollars in 2006 and handed over to Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, Societe Generale De Surveillance and Global Scan Systems on a build, operate and transfer basis with a seven year contract and were handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service on December 1, 2013.
Speaking at a public hearing on the lack of transparency on the transfer of technical know-how from Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, Societe Generale De Surveillance, to Nigeria Customs Service and Global Scan Systems which led to the collapse of multimillion dollar scanners at Nigeria’s Ports and Border Stations, Director, Home Finance of the Ministry of Finance, Stephen Okon said arrangement was being made by the government to procure three scanners for the Customs as a stop gap measure.
The members of the House Committee on Customs and Excise who noticed some element of sabotage in the entire process, wondering why the government would be making arrangement to spend tax payers’ money in buying new scanners when the 22 old scanners can be repaired.
The Lawmakers wondered why Global Scan System Limited that failed to honour its commitment to the government when they were supposed to hand over the scanners to the government were again contracted to work with the Nigeria Customs Service in the management of the scanners only for the entire system to collapse one year later.
The 22 scanners were bought by the federal government at the cost of 120 million dollars in 2006 and handed over to Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, Societe Generale De Surveillance and Global Scan Systems on a build, operate and transfer basis with a seven year contract.
The scanners were handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service on December 1, 2013.
Okon who represented the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning explained that “at the expiration of the contract in December 2012, they were further extended for a period of six months which ended in June 2013. Subsequently, the federal government entered into transition agreement commencing from 1st July to 30th November, 2013.”
He said further that the then Minister of Finance constituted a transition implementation committee with the mandate to collaborate with the manufacturers of the scanners to conduct an acceptance procedure test on the scanners to ensure they were operational before being handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service.