Public Relations Officer, PTML area command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Steve Okonmah has said that the appointment of Col. Hameed Ali as the Customs Comptroller-General has brought some level of sanity and discipline to the Service.
Speaking with reporters in his office recently, Okonmah said indiscipline, lack of respect for superior officers, preferential postings and impunity among junior officers in the NCS has since become a thing of the past and area controllers are now in charge of their commands.
This according to the image maker was alien to the service before the coming of Col. Ali as postings of officers were determined by senior officers in Abuja thereby making the senior officers at command levels lose respect before their junior ranked officers under their jurisdiction.
“Before, some people would tell you that we are posted here from Abuja and so, we are accountable to Abuja but today, the discipline is gaining full roots in customs. Controllers are now in charge of their commands; anything that goes wrong is in their neck. So, nobody will tell you today that I am from Abuja or from this. I think it is part of the discipline but like I said, he has started reviving the service,” he said.
According to him, the recent re-shufflement carried out at the command was always an effort in futility under the immediate past administration, adding that officers affected by re-shufflement in the past would always call their superior officers in Abuja who would frustrate the attempt.
“Reshufflement has been done in PTML now, let the person call the CG and tell him that his child is in so and so place and will need a change. How many times have we done rosters, finished it and it has not come out and it will not come out, more than a hundred telephone calls and they will only tell you who asked you to do that roster, who told you to reshuffle in the first place and it dies like that. But for the little time this man (Ali) has been there, I don’t know of tomorrow, he has brought discipline here”, he stated.
Speaking further, he rebuffed the claim that the retired Deputy Comptrollers-Generals were forced to retire even as he maintained that the right people were being put in the right positions.
“Look at the appointments he is making; he is putting a round peg in a round hole. There is one thing you notice there, this man believes in seniority. Watch the whole people he put there, they are old ACGs,” he said.