The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has expressed concern over the appointment of Col. Hameed Ali as the Comptroller- General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) describing it as political rather than professional.
In a statement by the Founder of the association, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, and made available to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, the association said appointing a non-professional to head the service will hamper the morale and productivity of the officers.
“At the moment we have perceived the appointment of Hameed Ali as being political and a child of necessity rather than being professional. It is our opinion that Mr. President is very mindful that most Nigerians are looking up to him to salvage Nigeria.
“The intrusion of non-professional officers at the highest level of the Customs administration is most disturbing to the officers. In the past there has been an experience of such decisions against the service personnel.
“It is to our knowledge as critical stakeholders that the appointment did not go down well with all most everybody for a fact that a modern customs administration is dynamic and information technology driven. We at NAGGAF are primarily concern with the law, professionalism and merit rather than mudslinging,” it said.
NAGAFF noted that the appointment of non-Customs officers to head the service in the past had rather than reposition the service left it worse than it met it.
“The saga of Abuja 88 brought into Customs a lot of retired army officers, Navy, Police and all that into the senior cadre of Customs ranking without cognate experience. The 2004 Customs reforms again dealt a big blow to the spirit and morale of officers of the Service.
“Officers of lower ranks were unduly promoted above their superiors without any merit or consideration for experience. All these have dampened the spirit of officers of the Service till today. The emergence of Hameed Ali to the best of our knowledge and standing may be like adding salt to injury,” the association noted.
NAGGAF however noted that with regard to the Nigerian Constitution, the President has not contravened the law and must have good reasons for appointing the retired colonel to head the Customs Service.
“We have carefully read and studied Section 5 of the Nigerian Constitution and the law establishing the composition of the Board of the Nigeria Customs, we did not find any contravention on the part of Mr. President.
“Patriotism demands that we trust and believe the judgement of Mr. President because he will not do anything to the contrary that will retard the progress of Nigeria as he strives to restore the past glory,” the statement added.