Customs officers shun asset declaration order

Customs officers’ compliance with the order of their leadership on asset declaration is still low, reports have shown.

It was gathered on Saturday that only a few Customs officers had filled the assets declaration form.

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali had on January 15 ordered its personnel to declare their assets within two weeks.

Sources at the Customs headquarters, Abuja said many officers of the service had not filled the assets declaration form, more than a week after the order was issued.

The source, which could not specify the number of officers that had complied with the directives, said, “Most of us are going to do it this week. We have not been given the form.”

When contacted on the number of officers that had complied with the directive, the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Deputy Comptroller Wale Adeniyi, said on Saturday that such statistics could only be provided by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

He said, “They (customs officers) don’t declare their assets in customs. It is done at the Code of Conduct Bureau. They pick the forms and submit at the bureau and it is only there that you can get the number of officers that have complied.

“The directive has been issued by the CG and the rest is left for the CCB to perform their duties. So the Code of Conduct is where you will get the level of compliance.”

When contacted, the Code of Conduct of Bureau said the level of response by officers of the NCS to the directive was low.

Head, Press and Protocol Unit of CCB, Mrs. Iyabo Akinwale, said an insignificant number of Customs’ men had visited the bureau to obtain the assets declaration form.

“For Customs, the response has been low. They have only been coming to us in Abuja one by one,” Akinwale said.

She however explained that what the Customs authorities ought to have done to ensure a full compliance was to have sent the “nominal rolls” of its staff to the CCB so that it could provide the adequate number of forms.

Akinwale said the Bureau’s Director, Federal Public Service, Salisu Abubakar, had last week Tuesday written to the Customs authorities for them to send their staff’s nominal rolls to the CCB.

“Our Director, Federal Public Service had last Tuesday written to the Customs to send their nominal roll to us. We also instructed our state offices to write to the state commands of Customs to do the same,” the CCB spokesperson said.

She however could not ascertain whether Customs at the federal and state command levels had responded to the letter by the CCB.

A circular signed by the Comptroller-General of Customs and addressed to all Deputy Comptrollers-General, Zonal Coordinators and Customs Area Controllers had said the directive on assets declaration was aimed at ensuring transparency and compliance with the rule of law.   


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