Customs head should ideally be a member of the service. I said ideally because it depends on the strategic fit of those in there in terms of ability to manage the service. If there are no capable hands or there is need for a change in status quo, then someone fit can be brought from outside. However, bringing in someone who did not grow through the ranks and does not know how things are done or should be done can be demoralizing for the men of the service. It could also engender a laissez-faire feeling.
No. I feel an outsider can head the Nigeria Customs Service as long as he is responsible and up to the task to do beyond what is expected of him. Even the so-called Dikko that headed service then, what was the result he accomplished in the service? Recently, I read about him allegedly involve in fraud.One of the most revolutionised government sector agencies today that has won the award of most Information Technology (IT)back to back for years is the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and that was possible because a total outsider was brought in from the private sector, in person of OsitaChidoka. Steve Jobs was not a core technical guy. He inspired one of the most innovative tech companies on earth today. He pushed the tech guys to do the seemingly impossible. If he was techie he would have thought these things were impossible.So in essence, disruptive change comes from people who have external exposures and experiences because being too familiar with the problems beclouds our abilities to perceive the solution.
The Customs head is by appointment, that is why most times the appointment is given to people that knows little or nothing about the modus operandi of the service and that is the reason why Nigeria Customs Service is in a deplorable state today. The role of Customs head is quite technical and requires high level of professionalism. Hence, the person to head the service should be an expert in customsactivities which I think should be chosen from the top ranks because the person already knows what the operation of the service and what it lacks.
Yes. In the spirit of professionalism, I feel experience will really count regarding theCustoms Comptroller-Generaland it will serve as motivation to thejunior officers with the hope that one day they would rise to the top. By doing this, it would also determine the loop holes in areas that requires attention andhow to proffer solutions. The person would also know the challenges faced by officers in the aspect of welfare.
I think the question of who becomes the Customs head should not be an issue here. What matters is what the constitution says about who becomes the Customs Comptroller-General and in our context, the constitution that sets up the Customs service does not expressly states the status of who becomes the Customs head. Like it is practised in the United States, most service heads are on political appointees and not necessarily serving officers. What we should concern ourselves with is how efficient the Customs head is and not whether he is an officer of the service or not.
The President is at liberty to choose whoever fits best to achieve what he wants and not the Senate but where it is clear that the head of a particular agency must be an officer from that agency, such should not be overruled. It must be followed according to what is in the Customs constitution to avoid misguidance. For the sake of professionalism, the Customs head should be an officer who has gone through different processes before rising to that pinnacle. He or she is unarguably a round peg in a round hole. More than being acquainted with the intricacies of the customs, he or she knows where the shoe pinches and is aware of many things an outsider might find difficult.
Even if the Constitution is unclear in such matter, the ideal thing will be to allow someone who knows the organisation too well pilot its affairs. The command, unity of purpose and leadership drive are readily available to such person. He might enjoy uncommon cooperation from the rank and file as well as other top officers who would naturally frustrate an alien imposed on them. I think it is in the best interest of professionalism to allow an officer be the head.
Nigeria is a country that needlessly embraces political frivolities and legal absurdities. Who cares where a Head comes from? Our concern should always be: can this Head sincerely and optimally perform? If the answer is, “Yes.” Then, let the person continue with the leadership regardless of what cynics think.
On whether the Customs head should be an officer of the service, I think the Federal Government should follow what the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says. If it supports “an outsider” becoming the Customs head, then, Mr President is at liberty to choose whoever he believes in not minding the countless submissions of biased Nigerians on the matter but if the constitution does not support that, then, the Customs head should be an Officer of the Service. Regardless of people’s opinions, our political office holders still know how to go about achieving their agenda. Whether the Customs head should be an officer of the service is a phenomenon the constitution of the country needs to deal with.
According to Section 3 of the official gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made on March 25, 2002, wherein it was stipulated that only those within the rank of Deputy Comptroller General can be elevated as substantive Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service. I think Colonel Hameed Ali is only appointed as the Comptroller General of the service with the mandate of sanitizing the service and this to me is worth it. I believe President Buhari trust his capability and want to eradicate corruption in all sectors.
I would say Customs head should be from the service as stipulated in our constitution but some interventions like this should be welcomed for cleaning and sanitizing the system.
Yes. It is better for the head to come from top rank officers in the service who will be able to work effectively for the growth of it because he knows all the loopholes faced. An outsider appointed might not be able to function well due to him/her not knowing the rudiments of how the service operates. Also, I believe the Nigeria Customs Service has a constitution and that constitution should be followed based on the appointment of a head for the service. I am against the Senate choosing the head because they do not have the right to. It is only the President of the nation that can authorize who he wants to head the service.
The current practice of always appointing non-career customs officer at the helm of affairs in the Nigeria Customs Service is a failure of the system and does not encourage young officers to want to build a career in the service. It breeds corruption.
My submission is to discard the policy and groom leaders in the service.
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