The Nigeria Customs Service has started a process of checkmating the activities of internet hackers who may want to disrupt its newly installed Information Communication Technology, which might stall the process of clearing of imported goods at the nation air, seaports and land borders.
The service is currently working on a new fully automated cargo clearance procedure facilitated by its Nigerian Trade Hub, which provides connectivity for all the government agencies involved in cargo inspection, under which it projects six-hour cargo clearance.
Deputy Comptroller, Operations Mr. Yusuf Bahar, who conducted a guided tour of the facilities in Abuja at the weekend, disclosed that in order to prevent hacking into the system, the service has sent some of its officers to Canada, United States of America and the United Kingdom to undertake courses in cyber crime prevention.
The decision of the service to take precautionary measures against cyber crimes might not be unconnected with its past experience whereby some criminals would hack into the Automated Systems for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), leading to the release of containers without paying the prescribed duty and other charges.
The deputy comptrollers also disclosed that in addition to the server located at its headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the service has also installed another server in an undisclosed location in Lagos in view of the current insecurity in the country, so that even if the server in Abuja is destroyed, the one in Lagos takes off automatically.
He noted that some of the officers that travelled abroad for the training have actually returned to the country to begin to man the various ICT infrastructure. It was also gathered that the service has recruited trained over 120 young graduates, who are expected to take over the ICT department to process the trade portal hub.
On the challenges associated with lack of public power supply, Bashar explained that the systems have never been connected with the public source as the service has acquired several heavy duty generating sets, each of which works for six hours per day.