Ex-Comptroller says Customs lacks powers to make policies

A retired Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Ralph Nwadike has chided the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali for overstepping his bounds by unbanning and banning the importation of rice through the land borders.

Nwadike, who served as Customs Area Controller of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command of the NCS before his retirement about ten years ago, said Customs had no powers to make policies.

He said, “Customs cannot impose ban or remove ban because they are not in charge of the tariff. They are supposed to implement whatever government has said.

“So if actually customs removed the ban and introduced the ban on whatever, then that shows you that the system is wrong because they are civil servants, they are suppose to serve what government asks them to do.

“The ban must come from those who handle fiscal policy and they must look at the implications of banning or not banning on the fiscal policy.”

He also kicked against the appointment of a non-Customs officer, Hameed Ali as Customs Comptroller-General saying that the development does not bode well for the future of the NCS.

Nwadike said, “The issue in the customs; it is high time we become realistic about it. I don’t have anything against anybody but in a situation where you bring somebody from outside to come and be in charge of the system, it means you have no regard for the system, it means you have no regard for human feelings.

“Psychologically, any person that is psychologically sound would really feel uncomfortable when you bring somebody without explaining why that person has to be above him. For example, when I was in customs, they brought in Dr Bello as the Director of Customs. What criterion was used? Nothing.

“Dr Bello read veterinary medicine. Now, what does a veterinary doctor know to make him better than some social scientists that have reached the rank of a Comptroller in customs?”


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