In reaction to a recent report that the Nigeria Customs Service NCS, sacked 400 officers from the service, the customs has denied that no such exercise took place in the ongoing restructuring of the service.
Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.), Comptroller-General of Customs, retired who spoke on the issue in Abuja,
told newsmen that he was rather holding meetings with stakeholders to strategise on how to achieve better service delivery in the country.
“I am not aware of any sacking; you are just telling me; I don’t know,” Ali said.
In another development, the CG has appointed six acting Deputy Comptrollers-General of Customs in the on-going re-organisation in the Service.
A statement by Mr. Wale Adeniyi, Customs spokesman, gave the names of the newly appointed officers as: Idris Suleiman (Finance Administration and Technical Service); Iya Umar (Tariff and Trade); and Dan Ugo (Enforcement Investigation and Inspection).
Others are: Grace Adeyemo (Excise, FTZ & Industrial Incentive) ;Austin Warikoru (Human Resource Development) ; and Paul Ukaigwe (Strategic Research and Policy).
The C-G also appointed Eight Assistant Comptrollers- General.
They are: Umar Sanusi (ACG Headquarters); Funsho Adegoke (ACG ICT); Mohammed Abbas mni (ACG Board); Olatunji Aremu mni (Command & Staff College) and Charles Edike (Zonal Coordinator Zone .
Others are: Abubakar Dangaladima (Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘B’; Azarema Abdulkadir (Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘C’); and Chidi Augustine (Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘D’).
The DCGS and ACG are to immediately take the new positions in acting capacity.
Seven Officers were equally redeployed in the new exercise. They are: ACG Adesina Odunmbaku (Finance and Technical Service); ACG Robert Alu (Tariff and Trade); ACG Ade Dosumu (Enforcement and Drugs); ACG Monday Abueh mni (Excise & Industrial Incentive); ACG Ahmed Mohammed mni (Human Resource Management) ; ACG Patience Iferi (Strategic Research and Policy) and Comptroller Aminu Abba (Technical Services).
The Changes also take immediate effect.
CG Ali urged the newly appointed officers to redouble their efforts to justify their new responsibilities.
He explained that the essence of his visit to some stakeholders was to create a common platform that would drive the mandate and enable the service to achieve its set goals by the Federal Government.
According to him, there was need for Nigeria to focus more on export than import, adding that Nigeria could not grow as a nation if it kept on importing goods and services.
The Customs boss said there was need to review policies so as to focus on how to regenerate exportation.
Ali said, “We must begin to focus on export than import; we are used to importing more.
99 per cent of NCS business is clearing of imports, while only little is being exported, and we cannot grow as a nation if we keep importing”.
“Anytime we import, we are spending money out to somebody. We are growing somebody else industry; we should look at the policy in order to grow our economy.
“Therefore if we want to grow our economy, we have to put more emphasis on exportation than importation.
“ We are doing restructuring; I have mandate given to me by Mr President to reform, structure and to raise revenues.
“And in the course of restructuring, a lot of things will have to happen and the visit is one of them.”
During his visit to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) the CG called for assistance from the institution to enable customs to build its capacity and train officers to handle procurement based on the Established Act.
He said, “We are here because procurement is one area that needs no mistake; I can afford to make mistake in some areas but there are two areas that I dare not make mistake, accounting and procurement.
“I realise that we in customs have some deficiency when it comes to capacity to be able to handle procurement.
“We want to get it right this time and the only way we can get it right is to come and learn from BPP.
“We are here to discuss with you to know how best we can further strengthen the synergy and also to have your support; so we can together drive the set objectives of this administration.’’