Hameed Ali Disbands Customs’ Strike Force
The Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), has disbanded the Customs CG Strike Force and reconstituted it in a decentralised form.
Ali who announced the dissolution in a circular signed by Deputy Comptroller in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Augustine Chidi, also appointed three Deputy Comptrollers of Customs to head Zones A(Lagos), B (Kaduna) and C (Owerri).
The dissolved Strike Force, hitherto headed by Abdullah Kirawa,a Deputy Comptroller that covered the whole country, was directed to hand over to the newly decentralised body.
“Deputy Comptroller Idris Dal, formerly of Bauchi /Gombe Command takes charge of Zone A, Deputy Comptroller Kolobe B, formerly of the Eastern Marine Command, is to oversee Zone B while Deputy Comptroller Adamu A M, formerly of Western Marine Command, takes charge of Zone C,” the circular stated in part.
The dissolved Strike Force made seizures worth over N17bn and had recovered over N1bn this year through issuance of demand notices on consignments that underpaid duties.
The Strike Force is described as Customs third layer of defence in the prevention of smuggling and duty evasion after the Area Commands and Federal Operations Unit.
Customs sources disclosed that Kirawa would resume duties at the Katsina Command of the service where he was serving before he was assigned to the Strike Force.
Posting of the Strike Force to the seaports had received wide condemnation from stakeholders including freight forwarders and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry that described the move as a negation of the Federal Government’s ease of doing business objective and a further complication of the clearing process at the ports.
Meanwhile, the NCS has debunked reports that it is conducting recruitment aptitude test.
Indicating this in a statement on Wednesday, the NCS noted in part, “This is to inform the general public that the news in circulation about the recruitment aptitude test is fake.
“The system is currently filtrating to ensure that only those who meet the criteria are shortlisted electronically.
“Once this is done, shortlisted candidates will be contacted through emails and phones.”
This is coming just as the NCS recently closed its online application portal where over 800,000 applicants visited the portal and 524,215 registered and completed the application process.
Industry watchers maintained that the frightening development gave credence to the designation of Nigeria as the unenvied poverty capital of the world; aside from also highlighting the high level of unemployed youths and their attendant leverage on poverty and hopelessness.
The NCS created the recruitment portal in April to recruit 3,200 officers to fortify its operations.