URA officials unveiling the scanners
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has acquired 27 baggage and cargo scanners to strengthen inspection of imports, exports and also address security controls at the different border points throughout the country. The new scanners are an addition to those stationed at Malaba, Busia, Mirama Hills, Elegu, Entebbe and Mutukula One-Stop Border Posts.
Manufactured by Nuctech Company Limited, the scanners have advanced X-ray non-intrusive technology that has been adopted world over in security and inspection.
This kind of technology gives a better perspective compared to the normal side scans in case of detection of contraband, illegal weapons or any other dangerous objects. At Entebbe International Airport for example, a cargo scanner will for the first time inspect consignments without a customs officer.
John R. Musinguzi, the Commissioner General of URA appreciated this first batch of scanners with support from the Government and Nuctech. The government has invested UGX 100 billion to support Customs work and in the end contribute at least 30% of the revenue.
“Uganda ’s economy is growing and with this kind of technology, we should be able to meet the tax to GDP ratio in the next 3 years,” Mr. Musinguzi affirmed.
He also encouraged staff to equip themselves with the skills and exercise high levels of integrity while operating the equipment.
“Technology is only as good as the human resources behind it. Our staff manning this equipment should be alert, inquisitive and honest while operating these scanners,” he emphasized.
Abel Kagumire, the Commissioner Customs promised an addition of 12 scanners by October which will be stationed at all the 39 border stations country wide. With scanners in place, there will be no excuse for contraband and revenue loss from untaxed goods.
Meanwhile, acquisition of the scanners is a quick response to a call made by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during the URA at 30 Thanksgiving ceremony to have scanning equipment at border stations to curb illicit trade.