Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali has been honoured as a fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
Ali was decorated by the National president of NIPR, Dr. Rotimi Oladele during a three-day workshop organised by NCS for its Public Relations Officers last week.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, which held at the Customs Staff College, Abuja, the Customs boss expressed determination to achieve an improved image for the service and an active engagement with stakeholders.
He said apart from immigration officials, customs officers are the very first contact persons interacting with foreigners coming in and going out from the country hence the need for the officers to be well dressed and decently behaved at all times.
He urged customs spokespersons to equip themselves with skills necessary for effective crisis management.
”NCS under my leadership recognises the crucial function of Public Relations as a means of building mutual understanding between the service and stakeholders. It is therefore imperative that while carrying out the presidential mandates of Restructuring, Reforms and Raise revenue, we actively engage the public who have a stake in what we do.
“I believe that the ability of any organisation to deliver on its mandates depends largely on how it is understood. PR can therefore be a tool for entrenching higher integrity among operatives and compliance from stakeholders,” Ali said.
Ali also read the riot act to non designated customs officers who perform the duties of the Public Relations as he maintained that information from the service must be correct and professionally communicated to the public.
He disclosed that he has become a preacher within the Nigeria Customs Service urging officers to do what is right in the course of duty. He described customs as being more complex than the army where he had worked for many years adding that customs is the best service for a truthful person as there is much latitude for discretionary powers.
National President of Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Dr. Rotimi Oladele lauded customs’ feat in entrenching professionalism in PR practice.