“As long as I remain in this Service, nobody can remain in a place for more than three years. That is the maximum. We can move you after six months if the exigencies require that but we cannot keep you in a place more than three years. The era of staying in a place for 10 years has come to a stop,” Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) told Customs officers when he addressed hem yesterday the PTML area command in continuation of his tour of the various customs formation.
Ali warned that the era of rejecting postings or moving from one desk to another within the same command with the assistance of those he called ‘godfathers’ at the headquarters would no longer be tolerated.
Ali who also visited Western Marine command, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal and Tin can Island port respectively said officers will now have a maximum age limit to spend on a rank and if within the period, an officer fails to do the needful to get promoted, he will be dismissed.
“To say that you are posted and you do not want to move, that has come to a stop. We cannot have a Service like that. There is no longer going to be godfathers either in headquarters and I have also told my ACGs and DCGs that nobody should get involved in posting of anybody. Henceforth, every posting will be maximum three years.
“We will introduce a maximum age that you will spend on a rank and if you did not get promoted until you get to that age, the simple answer is that you are out,” he said.
The Customs boss also added that officers will not be promoted if they fail to attend required training courses noting that he had received report of some officers who shy away from attending training courses but warned that his administration would not condone that except on health grounds.
He urged the officers to be versatile in all areas of customs operation and not restrict themselves to a particular area of discipline.
“If you do not attend any of these courses, know that your chances of being promoted are very slim. You need to attend courses to be efficient enough to work and if you fail to attend courses, how are you going to perform?” he queried.
While urging the officers to imbibe honesty, integrity and transparency in carrying out their duties, Ali warned that he will not tolerate indiscipline among officers.
He said he would hold area controllers responsible if any officer who fails to conduct himself in a proper manner is not made to face the consequence of his wrong course.
“In the past, these consequences were not applied or you don’t feel them, this time around, I will make sure that those consequences are brought to bear because they are written in the customs law to be applied and the only way you can run away from those consequences is to make sure that you conform to the positions as set up. I will hold area controllers responsible for breach of this law,” he said.
On the issue of corruption, Ali warned that any officer who caught involved in the falsification of documents or undervaluation will be liable to conviction of a 10 year jail term and maintained that he will not treat any offence with kid gloves.
He added that any seizure made at the hinterland would be traced back to the port where the consignment was cleared and officers involve in the clearance of such goods will face prosecution.
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