BY AMBROSE GAHENE
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has acquired 27 baggage and cargo scanners to strengthen inspection of imports, exports and 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.
John R. Musinguzi, the Commissioner-General of URA, welcomed the first batch of scanners with support from the Government and Nuctech.
The government has invested Shs100 billion to support customs work and in the end contribute at least 30 percent of the revenue.
“Uganda’s economy is growing and with this kind of technology, we should be able to meet the tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in the next three years,” Mr. Musinguzi said.
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 pointed out.
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.
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.
The acquisition of the scanners is a quick response to a call made by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.