The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, on Tuesday charged the recently promoted officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, to see their new ranks as call to greater service.
Performing the decoration of the five new Deputy Comptrollers-General, DCGs, and eight Assistant Comptrollers-General, ACGs, with their new ranks in Abuja, Mr Ali said that their promotion was based on merit.
The new DCGs include Aminu Dangaladima, Augustine Chidi, Sule Alu, Patience Iferi and Ronke Olubiyi.
Also, the newly appointed ACGs include Talatu Isa, Benjamin Abeg, Ladan Hamza, Kaycee Ekekezie, Aminu Dahi.
He said that the appointment was a call to greater service to the nation.
Mr Ali, a retired colonel, said that promotion in the NCS was based on experience and hard work, adding that for an officer to get to the position of ACG or DCG, the individual would have gone through thick and thin.
“This is the first time in the NCS we are abiding by the Beijing conference resolution.
“Today out of the 18 Customs management members of NCS, we have six women and out of the six DCGs we have two women.
“To whom much is given much is expected; the weight is not in the rank but the responsibility. These ranks will propel you to do more in the service.
“I must confess that this is the first time that I will take responsibility for full selection of my members of the management.
“And what that means therefore is that the failure of the management is the failure of Ali because I selected this team. I hope and pray that you will not let me down.
“We as a team will continue to propel, move the service forward and we will continue to serve this country in the best interest of the nation.
“The NCS is the only service I know that touches virtually the lives of everybody in the area of trade facilitation, revenue generation and security and wellbeing of Nigerians.
“We thank this great nation for giving us the opportunity and permission to serve,” Mr Ali said.
The CG recalled that at the last World Customs Organisation, WCO, council meeting, one of the things that were promoted was equal gender representation in the service.
He said that WCO advocated for equality between women and men in the service.
“I will be glad to tell the Secretary General of WCO that NCS was the first to have met the criteria,’’ he said.
He said that the job of a customs officer was a difficult, adding “in the course of duty we have lost so many of our colleagues’’.
The customs boss charged the newly appointed officers to adhere to all the extant laws of the service.
The CG said that though the service had made tremendous progress with regard to revenue generation but it was not doing very well in tackling smuggling.
“Let me use this forum to enjoin all of you to join hands with the leadership and management to ensure that in the next three months we have reduced smuggling to its barest minimum.
“The greatest challenge that we have in the NCS is smuggling and with the new management we will be able to move forward and reduce smuggling most importantly rice.
“It our job to protect our agricultural produce and it is our job to make sure our farmers benefit from government policy.
“And we can do this by making sure that we stop the influx of foreign rice into the country,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the CG has effected the redeployment of some key officers in the service.
Mr Ali said that some of the officers affected include ACG Amina Dahira who was moved from Zone B Kaduna to Zone A Lagos, as Zonal Coordinator.
He added that Comptroller Udo-Aka Emmanuel, the Customs Area Comptroller of Oyo/Osun Command has been appointed as Acting ACG to coordinate Zone B, Kaduna.