• Corruption index on increase
• Spends N1billion
In just two years after it launched its current camouflage uniform, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has commenced plans to re-introduce another uniform, in what has been described as bare-face paramilitary scam surprisingly being superintended by the Spartan Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.).
On July 7, 2014 , the NCS under the leadership of Abdullahi Dikko Inde, launched a new set of camouflage uniform in support of special operations aimed at enhancing national security. The uniform was done in the service’s colour of grey with bits of other colours.
MMS plus gathered that CGC Ali has presented and defended the introduction of another customs uniform being designed to come in two different grades and classes at the Service’s management meetings. Expectedly, there was no objections, implying that the decision has been adopted for execution.
According to the plan, the Enforcement unit of the Service will be have a khaki uniform as the career civil service in customs, while others in revenue generation arm of the Service will have a customized suit and tie, to represent the corporate identity of this class.
Our source in customs said the financial implication of the project being worked out is about N1billion with 15,000 workforce
Contacted, the national image- maker of NCS, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, as usual said,” No plan to change Customs uniform”.
CG Ali has said he was drafted to customs with the mandate to increase revenue generation, restructure Customs and reform Customs, however, more than one year in his leadership saddle, stakeholders and Nigerians are still in doubt as to the kind of reform and restructuring he wants to carry out.
So far, developments in Customs have shown that corruption is getting entrenched in the system, which is a clear departure from his original posture of anti-corruption czar.
He used a bus to visit places and commands during his maiden visit to Lagos and even refused to eat with the senior customs officers for the fear of being subjected to their control or manipulated. The story changed months later with his second visit to Lagos. He was driven round the city in Toyota Jeep and was treated to sumptuous meal along with his colleagues in the Service.
Recently, Ali flew a first class ticket to London against government policy of cutting cost, leaving the public with the impression of man with a double personality.
Some of the errant officers in different commands, who have been listed for de-ranking and other forms of punishment may have been pardoned. Ali was said to have changed the decision of the management because of the torrents of calls from power brokers in the country asking him to rescind his decision.