Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has encouraged shipping lines and shipping agencies operating in the country to tighten loopholes encountered in the transmission of E-Manifests.
The Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in-charge of Modernization, ACG Saidu Galadima made this call when he hosted shipping companies during a meeting with Customs and its I.T provider, Webb Fontaine on “E-Manifests Interface and Application”.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos yesterday, ACG Saidu said; “We have issued circulars but the breaches are becoming very alarming. Consequently, this means that the integrity of what we have in the system is at stake.”
“The management resolved that we all come together to brainstorm and share ideas in all to chart a way forward. That’s why we have our internet service providers, Webb Fontaine to put you through on the application and the 3-level security we expect you to have in place. After the Webb Fontaine presentation, we have opportunities to ask questions and make suggestions.”
In his presentation, Webb Fontaine’s I.T official, Mr. Larry Balogun noted that there are three security levels which are Virtual Private Network (VPN) User Credentials, Server Authentication Credentials and Server Codes.
Balogun lamented that the front end users of shipping services have access to all these credentials, describing this as wrong and a security threat. He also noted that disgruntled workers or dismissed employees could distort the shipping companies server with the current modus operandi.
He admonished the shipping companies to create a different user interface for their customers to restrict access to the backend of the web facility and protect credentials and integrity of the platform.
“Some shipping companies are very compliant without challenges from the backend of the servers. They have a frontend for their users to go in and transact and that is what we want to be done,” Balogun said.
While the Webb Fontaine I.T expert suggested the passwords could be reset for shipping companies yearly, the participating I.T officials from respective companies pushed for exclusive control of the server arguing that some mischievous persons outside the shipping companies could have access to their credentials if the system remains solely controlled by Webb Fontaine.
The shipping companies argued that they will prefer taking ownership and responsibilities for the internet facility, lamenting that fraudulent persons outside the shipping companies could also access the platform if they can’t change their passwords.
Speaking with News Diet, the Import Service Delivery Manager, CMA CGM Nigeria, Mr. Harrison Asonye commended Customs for providing a platform for stakeholders to discuss the challenges.
Asonye, however, urged the Customs management to avial shipping companies more time to develop a secure frontend that enhances security of the E-Manifests interface.
In his closing remarks, ACG Saidu maintained that the essence of the meeting was to review the application and he expressed delight that operators have enumerated the challenges with the system.
“Recall that in my opening remarks, I encouraged them to air their challenges so that we would go back to the drawing board to make appropriate changes. We aren’t going to wish away any remark, observation or complaints,” he assured.