The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Retired Col. Hameed Ali has cautioned non-designated officers of the establishment against disseminating information that ought to be properly handled by its Public Relations Officers (PRO).
Ali gave warning at the opening ceremony of a workshop on Crisis Communication at Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, FCT, Abuja.
He said officers found wanting would be sanctioned, stressing that information from the service must always be correct and professionally communicated to the public.
“I believe, strongly, that the ability of any organisation to deliver on its mandate depends largely on how it is understood.
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“Public Relations (PR) can therefore be a tool for entrenching higher integrity among operatives and compliance from stakeholders.
“There is need for more training in the form of similars, workshops. You need more rumour extinguishers than you need fire extinguishers to manage media crises,” Ali said.
He further said that the service was at a critical stage of implementing reforms that would impact on stakeholders.
Ali also said that changes, no matter how necessary, were sometimes resisted by stakeholders, thereby leading to misunderstanding that could cause challenges, if not well managed.
“This is why there is need to have a crop of well trained PROs, equipped with crisis communication skills’’.
According to Ali, NCS recognises the crucial functions of PR and will continue to encourage professionalism by supporting the unit.