By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even as the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (rtd) is currently engulfed in N1.6 billion fraud allegations over recruitment exercise in Customs, Chief Achike Molokwu, former Vice Chairman of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Island Port has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to get a trained customs officer to head the service.
Recall that the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, Senator Ade Fadahunsi, a retired Assistant Comptroller General of Customs had accused the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, of paying the sum of N1.6bn to a consultant for the recruitment of 3,200 personnel into the Service.
Speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS, Chief Molokwu said it was wrong for President Buhari to have appointed Hameed Alli as CG in the first place.
He said “The government should get a trained customs officer to head the service, because customs themselves know the technicality of customs, the Customs is all about duty, excise and all, a military man does not know it”
“He cannot learn on the job, just like you cannot bring a Customs officer to head the military, how does he know how to crawl, maneuver and shoot?” he said
Molokwu also alleged some irregularities and alleged corruption in the operations of Customs at the Tin Can Island Port Command.
According to him, officers at the exit gate of the Tin Can First Gate are now extorting clearing agents under the guise of demanding for “bill of laden history” to justify where the cargo is coming from.
Speaking, he said “We have what guides us in ASYCUDA ++, it is a system produced by World Customs Organization (WCO) when you finish your cargo examination and you release, you get the exit note and gate, once you get these it makes you go away”
“NICIS 2 took over from that system, this is why we are saying that we want a professional to head the Customs, when you get the exit note from the terminal, it is transmitted to the gate where you print it and exit, the system is well perfected”
“But because of corruption, Customs officers are trying to be unprofessional.
Some officers would now be asking you for the bill of laden history to justify where the cargo is coming from, and when he justifies where the cargo is coming from, he gets small money, that is corruption and unprofessional”
“What is happening at Tin Can exit gate is unprofessional and we are kicking against it” he said