EFCC boss seeks establishment of Customs Integrity Unit

The Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, wants Comptroller-General of Customs Dikko Inde Abdullahi, to establish a Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Intergrity Unit to promote transparency and accountability in the Service.
Lamorde spoke last Tuesday as the EFCC in partnership with the NCS formally kick-started an anti-corruption campaign aimed at curbing corruption in the Service.
The effort may be a direct response to the alarm raised recently by the Federal Government, alleging unbridled sharp pracitices in two revenue-generating agencies, namely: the NCS and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Officials of both agencies were alleged to have been involved in diversion of revenue meant for the Federation Account into private pockets through some revenue collecting banks.
At the launch of the initiative, which would see EFCC personnel posted to certain units of the Customs to assist the Service check revenue losses, and tackle the menace of smuggling, Lamorde expressed doubts about the workability of the initiative, except there is high moral standing by the NCS personnel.
The EFCC boss said: “I call on the Comptroller-General to accept my proposal for the establishment of an NCS Integrity Unit in the Nigeria Customs Service. The unit is expected to be the rallying point for the promotion of transparency and accountability in the NCS towards achieving the mandate of the Service to the glory of our fatherland.
“The experiences shared and lessons learnt from this interaction and the ones scheduled to hold in various Customs Commands around the country, I believe, should be the resilient framework on which the relationship between our two agencies should be built.

“This public education and sensitisation campaign has come a long way. In the recent past, similar campaigns have been extended to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Ministry of Transport and ACTU, to mention a few.”
Also speakig, the Customs chief, who said that the Service was embarking on the campaign because of its adoption of a zero tolerance for corruption, charged the personnel, as well other stakeholders to always evaluate their consciences at each point in time they may be under pressure to compromise propriety.
Abdullahi said: “In embarking on this anti-corruption journey, we have fully prepared our officers and men for zero tolerance through our six-point agenda. We have improved their capacity through training, we have boosted their welfare through increased salaries. We have equally introduced full automation into our processes to reduce physical contacts and the environment for corruption.
“I, therefore, urge all our stakeholders, and indeed, the generality of Nigerians to support us in this historic campaign to instill integrity into our operations. Each time you are tempted to induce our officers, or when our officers are pressured to compromise their position, I urge you to ask yourselves: How much money is enough? How much is enough to compromise national security? How much is enough to keep factories closed? How much is enough to keep unemployed graduates on the streets? And how much is enough to compromise our collective good?”

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