October 18, 2015

Mass sack, demotion looms in Customs

Customs, Apapa

File: Customs

By Godwin Oritse

THERE were indications, weekend, that the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, will experience mass sack and demotion of officers and men of the service as its comptroller general, Col. Hameed Ali (retd) has vowed to demote all officers promoted unevenly in the service.

Customs CG, Hameed Ali inspecting Guard of Honour at Customs Headquarter

File photo: Customs CG, Hameed Ali inspecting Guard of Honour at Customs Headquarter

Ali has also promised to carry out an in house cleansing exercise that may lead to the sack of officers and men of the service found to be corrupt.

Speaking to newsmen at the Customs Training School in Ikeja, Lagos, the Customs boss said he had been informed about irregular promotion, posting and recruitment in the service over the years. His words, “In every conversation and meeting with my men, I have told them that I realized that there are so many anomalies as regard to their posting, promotion and recruitment.

“We will set up a committee to review the whole thing. Where people have not been promoted out of no fault of theirs we will address it and where people have been promoted based on godfatherism we will review it.”

The CG also warned officers who had refused to go on training because they were sitting on lucrative desks stressing that such an era in the service has gone. He noted, “Where people have refused to go to courses because they think they are sitting on a desk where they make some ‘egunje’ we know what to do. There are so many internal things that I don’t need to come out and start reeling them because we have taken note of all this and I and my senior management have resolved to look at this and we will ensure that there is equity and justice in the service.”

Meanwhile, the CGC had vowed to embark on house cleansing in order to rid the service of corrupt officers and men. According to him, no organization in Nigeria is corruption free but the few bad eggs in the service had tainted the rest as corrupt. “Most customs men and officers are not corrupt but what happened is that because our activities relate to the member of the public, and if there is one bad egg the news goes around so far and the impression today in Nigeria is that we are all corrupt because of the activities of some few bad eggs and I have said that we must do some house cleansing and get rid of those bad eggs in other to strengthen the customs.

“There is no organisiation in the country that will beat its chest and say no corrupt element in it so. I cannot also say there are no corrupt elements in customs and I want to say this and say it with all sense of responsibility that in customs, there are few corrupt elements.”

The former military administrator of Kaduna state had also informed that the federal government had stopped granting of import waivers.
Ali said President Buhari had cancelled all existing waivers and put an end to the granting of new ones.

“Waivers are beyond us but the good thing is that the current president has put a stop to it.

“There is no going to be waivers except those one that the law allowed for and that is the diplomatic and not that they are written UN.

“We will subject them to scrutiny and know that they are genuinely diplomatic cargo

“There are consignment for diplomat that are evacuating their thing to their way back home after serving outside and those waivers are statutory and we will continue to have it but things like someone bringing machine or rice then exploit his relationship with government and get those approved are over.

“He has said no waivers and when anyone comes with a paper, I should ask who gave him so there is no waiver and we will maximize that because we want money and we can raise the revenue profile.”