Following his face-off with the National Assembly, a retired Comptroller of Customs, Raplh Nwadike has advised embattled Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali to resign rather than make himself a subject of unnecessary controversy.
Speaking recently with National Daily, Nwadike also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Ali from the position.
Nwadike also faulted Ali’s appointment by Buhari, saying that his rank as a Colonel in the Nigerian Army does not merit being conferred with the office of the Comptroller General of Customs.
“In the first place, he is an equivalent of an Assistant Controller. A Deputy Controller is supposed to be superior to him, not to talk of Controller, ACG and DCG and he was appointed Comptroller-General.”
“Could it be that he is feeling shy or snobbish to wear the Comptroller-General’s rank? His refusal to wear uniform is having some psychological effect on some people that are working there,” he said.
Immediate past president, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Eugene Nweke said while the legislators are trying to enforce respect for the constitution of the country by demanding that the Customs CG appears before it in uniform, the lawmakers should also summon the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun to clarity if she was consulted before NCS issued the directive.
“Summoning the CG of Customs independently to come before them leaving the Minister of Finance who is supposed to be the Chairman of the Customs Board, with due respect to the Senate; I don’t think they have done anything. The man has openly showed that he disrespects the Finance Minister by not consulting. Let it be in the open that the Finance Ministry say she wasn’t involved and was never consulted in such policy.”
According to him, the Senate should let the Customs boss know that he is to take instruction and to discuss issue with the Chairman of the Customs Board before going to the press so that he won’t be making this policy blunder and somersault.
“Change should be due process. You don’t wake up and just make policy without the board agreeing.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali may have soured the relationship that he had with the Senate when on January 1, 2017 the Service commenced implementation of the ban on vehicles through the land border against the wishes of the upper legislative chamber, which had earlier called for the suspension of the policy.
The rift however worsened when on March 2, the Customs again announced plans to implement a retroactive policy to clamp down on vehicles owned by Nigerians but on which import duty had not been paid.
The controversial policy was however suspended following public outcry that greeted its announcement with the Senate, Nigerian Labour Congress and civil society groups condemning it.