By Ifeyinwa Obi
COMPTROLLER General of Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi has disclosed that plans have been concluded for a joint anti-corruption campaign with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to sustain the war against economic saboteurs.
He also stated that officers in various commands and formations across the country would now be participating in workshops in financial and corruption matters.
Abudullahi, who said this at the official launch of Joint Customs-EFCC Anti Corruption Campaign in Abuja, said the programme would instil integrity into the Service’s operations.
His words: ‘’In this campaign we have found a worthy partner in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to cooperate with us and spread the message that together we are forging a united stand against corruption.
‘’In the past, Customs/EFCC collaboration has been a reference point of the best practice. Our officers seconded to the commission are instrumental to the commission’s success. We have worked closely together in special joint operations, investigations and training.
“In building this synergy, we are sending strong signals to all economic saboteurs that they now face a more difficult task to evade payment of Customs duty or smuggle prohibited goods through our borders.
‘’In embarking on this journey, we have fully prepared our officers and men for zero tolerance through our six-point agenda. We have improved their capacity through training. We have boosted their welfare through increase in salaries. We have equally introduced full automation into our processes to reduce physical contacts and the environment for corruption.”
The Customs boss added: “I, therefore, urge all stakeholders and indeed the generality of Nigerians to support us in this historic campaign to instil integrity into our operations. This is an introspective initiative carefully designed to fire the consciousness of our officers and men and improve integrity and quality service delivery. Officers who are supposed to be the fighting force in the battle against financial crimes, corruption and economic sabotage can not be expected to deliver on this mandate if they themselves are afflicted by the same malaise.’’
Accordingly, he said, ‘’ the programme will encourage the NCS to create a zero tolerance unit to sustain the campaign and promote transparency, accountability and integrity in the workplace. The programme is therefore in line with the preventive provision of EFCC Act of 2004 which mandates it to adopt measures which may include collaboration and regulatory actions aimed at prevention of economic related crimes.’’
Abdullahi said: “The programme will encourage officers to undertake a re-examination of their work processes and procedures for possible areas of vulnerability to acts of corruption and enhance their ability to identify such loopholes in their various units.’’