Poor internet delay e-service system clearance at Nimule border

By Adia Jildo

Prices of goods have drastically risen within two weeks due to delay in clearance of trucks at Nimule border since the introduction of the e-service for tax collection.

The digitalized e-service was implemented on the 1st of March by the Director General of Customs Service and commissioner for custom service Ayii Madut to help in the collection of taxes at Nimule boarder.

The Chairperson of Chamber of Commerce Central Equatoria State Robert Pitia in a phone interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Wednesday said “there is a slowdown in the system of taxation which was introduced by the National Revenue Authority [NRA] and now it has led to delay of trucks due to poor internet to clear trucks, the internet is very low and if there is no internet you have to wait”.  

Mr. Robert added that truck drivers spent days at the border waiting for clearance which leads to increase of prices in the market due to expenditures in the long run.

“Increase of fuel prices in Uganda has also led to higher cost of hiring tucks for transportation of goods,” he cited.

 “Some of the prices are increasing in Uganda that’s why the prices are also increasing here because we don’t have the products,” he said adding that some traders as well take advantage of the situation by increasing prices of their goods.

The government should provide good internet service which is fast and accessible for easy clearance which will help reduce the prices in the market. “The government can play a role in terms of providing internet service in a very fast way so that trucks cannot stay for long at the border,” he requested.

“I urge the traders not to take advantage of the situation so that the prices can be maintained,” Pitia said.

Meanwhile Amule Victor Edward, a clearance agent at Bollore Transport and Logistics said the digitalized e-service is faced by network problem which takes long before a truck can continue with its journey.

“We are using our private phones and the phone network is so poor. The computer is only given to the customs agents. The clearance takes two to three days unlike days before the implementation of the e-service,” he stressed.

There are many challenges such as illiteracy and lack of equipment leading to the delay in clearing trucks at the border. “We were not given time to train ourselves. Most of the people are illiterate. I’m calling for the training of the customs officers to ease work at the customs,” he further explained.

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