Customs cut powers of area controllers

Customs cut powers of area controllers
Col. Hameed Ali, CG of Nigeria Customs Service

 There are indications that the recent reorgnaisation carried out by the  management of the Nigeria Customs Service is aimed at cutting down the powers of Customs Area Controllers assigned to oversee various commands.

The Comptroller General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali, stated this in while posting 238 deputy comptrollers to their specific assignments.

It was gathered that unlike the former situation where customs area controllers deployed the DCs to various positions and units under their watch, the newly posted officers had their postings contained in their various letters of deployment.

The newly posted officers would need not report to their controllers for internal postings as this had been done by the CG.

This development was also said to have cut off the area controllers’ powers to reshuffle their deputies at any point in time as only the NCS headquarters could do so.

Sources at the customs headquarters told our correspondent that any AC who wished to reshuffle was required to write and seek approval from Abuja.

While some of the recently posted DCs would be in charge of administration, enforcement, revenue and vehicle sections, others had their postings to bond, baggage, terminals and specific designations.

Sources said the CG was fine-tuning arrangements for another round of posting of assistant comptrollers.

Some customs officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed fears that the new mode of posting for senior officers to commands could breed indiscipline in the service.

According to them, the office of DC Administration, which serves as next in hierarchy to the area controller, is now being occupied by the most senior DC.

Responding, the spokesman for the service, Joseph Attah, said seniority and respect for hierarchy was never a problem.  ‘’Every customs officer knows his mates, seniors and juniors. Seniority has never been a problem in military and paramilitary set up,’’ he said.

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