NCS to sue firms for delaying N1.8b premium

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Comptroller-General, (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) on Tuesday vowed he would not hesitate to sue four firms for defaulting to pay the families of deceased officers’ backlog amounting to N1.819 billion premiums between 2009 and 2014.

The customs boss however disclosed after getting the go-ahead from the National Assembly to pay the families from the service’s last year’s budget, he has raised a committee to effect the payment within six weeks.

Ali, who made the announcement in Abuja, while inaugurating a committee to clear the claims in three tranches, revealed the defaulting insurance companies are: Niger Insurance, Great Nigeria Insurance, Chrome Insurance and Country and City Insurance.

He accused the firms of not paying the Group Life Assurance and Group Personal Accidents liabilities during the period.

The Comptroller-General noted that the firms did not give any excuse for sitting on the premium.

According to him: “We have taken all the steps that we can include reporting them to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) but to no avail.

“Maybe we will end up, with the advice of the legal adviser, going to court.”

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) boss said the people that suffer most from this are families and next of kin of the deceased officers.

“What we did was to liaise with the National Assembly (NASS) in the last year budget within our fund to pay up these claims to alleviate the suffering. On how to get the money from the brokers will be decided in court,” Ali noted.

Tasking the seven-man committee, he said: “Every Kobo will be paid with the supervision of the office of the CGC. It is our hope that this will alleviate the sufferings of our people.”

Also inaugurating an eight-man committee to distribute perishable goods seized by NCS, he said Customs warehouses were filled and the need to distribute rice and other goods before the rainy season.

Ali said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the inclusion of formal orphanages and crisis areas beside the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

“We are looking at in the next six weeks, we should be able to distribute this consignment,” Ali said.

The CGC has also ordered a comprehensive biometric exercise to capture all officers and men of the Service. Ali said there were disparities in the figure of the workforce.

“There are officers who have been chopped out of the Service but they are still wearing uniforms and extorting money. These are the ones giving us a bad name,” he said.