The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hammed Ali (Rtd) has taken the fight against corruption in the Customs to new heights as he has given a 14-day ultimatum for all officers of the Nigeria Customs Service make full disclosure of their assets.
CG Hammed Ali stated that this new directive to get officers to completely declare their assets is geared towards ensuring the right measures are put in place to push transparency and ensure compliance to the rule of law.
The Comptroller General has taken a giant step to match his anti-corruption fight in the Nigeria Customs Service and the 14-day ultimatum for compliance if strictly enforced should lead to shocking revelations on the likely loot by several Customs officers to be exposed soonest.
This instruction that all Customs officers were to declare their assets in the next 14 days, was contained in a circular signed by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (Rtd) and addressed to all Deputy Comptrollers-General, Zonal Coordinators and Customs Area Controllers.
According to the Circular, the directive on Assets Declaration is in compliance with the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act Cap B1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Although the Act provides for Asset Declaration by all Bank employees, it also empowers the President to extend its application to other categories of persons. As Section 12 (1) states that “The provision of this Act shall apply to the Comptroller-General, Deputy Comptroller-General, Assistant Comptroller-General, Chief Collector, Principal Collector and other Officer, Staff or employee of the Nigeria Customs Service as the apply to a Chief Executive or an employee of a Bank”
This is a welcomed development and a bold step in ensuring that most Customs officers comply with the provisions of the Act, something which has been trivialized over the years.
By Kenneth Jukpor