It is okay because even when you prune a tree, it brings out more beautiful branches. Although the retired officers have a lot to offer in terms of experience, it’s just that the retirement came that way. It would have been a thing that will transit so that they can impact knowledge to people taking over from them. But however, since it happened this way, it’s okay. When we use the word sack, it doesn’t go down well with me because nobody can get up and sack somebody that has not done anything wrong. If anybody is found wanting, they should show the person the way out but if you talk about sack, you cannot sack those that are not found wanting. But there is a way they should go about the reorganization in order not to destabilise the core values of customs most especially the experience they are throwing away. For example, when NEPA downsized some of its staff, they got the problem they are facing now and which the country is grappling with. So it is not always downsizing works. It should be looked at holistically to make sure that the egg heads, the technical people in the Service should not be thrown out because they need experience in issues of revenue generation.
It is a welcome development because those retired have been there for so long so there is need to give room to the new officers. Maybe with the new CG that they have, they can restrategize and move the country forward. Most of those retired do not want to go because of the benefit they are getting from being a Customs officer. Sometimes, if somebody stays too long in a position, he will feel too comfortable. If there is need for retirement or some officers are not performing well, he can retire them. That is the prerogative of the Customs boss. So, it is a welcome idea, let new people come and see how they can eject new ideas to move the Service forward especially with the porous borders we have around. It needs to be tightened up. There is no nation that can survive with loose borders where people smuggle all sort of goods into the country.
Well I will say no and yes. No in the sense that I don’t know the level at which the Comptroller General wants to go in sacking or restructuring the Service. But I believe if he feels those he had to sack will be a stumbling block to his restructuring and mandate of what he has come to carry out, then he is at liberty to do that and then make sure he achieves what he needs to come and achieve. After all, for anybody in any position, the ultimate goal is to achieve your aim. So whatever or whoever he might have to face as a challenge in achieving his mandate must first be gotten rid of to achieve his goal.
I support it. For me, the reorganization should have come long before now. It will be of no good to the Service especially in making progressive change if some set of officers will have to occupy and enjoy juicy position for years without allowing young officers to also bring their experience to bear in such positions. As a matter of fact, the officers that were retired were due for retirement. So let them leave for others to come in. We welcome it.
Prince Bola Adesoka
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