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Farinto calls for removal of Finance Minister —-says she lacks capacity to control Customs.

Eyewitness reporter
Kayode Farinto, the National Vice- President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has accused the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, of gross underperformance and lack of capacity to provide effective leadership to drive the economy.
Farinto, who is the Managing Director of Wealthy Honey Investment, lamented that the gap in the leadership of the Minister has led to the unrestrained impunity in the Nigeria Customs service which he accused of killing trade in Nigeria.
He, therefore, called for the replacement of the Minister with a technocrat who is well versed in fiscal economic policies and has the capacity to give effective leadership to the customs authority.
“We need to rejuvenate the Federal Ministry of Finance by appointing another technocrat to move our economy forward and we need an Honorable Minister of Finance that will be able to supervise and direct the new management team of Nigeria customs service to be reconstituted.
“The first panacea to revamp our economy is to appoint a vibrant and versatile economist as Honorable Minister of Finance because the present one lacks the ability to move our economy forward at post covid – 19 pandemic”  Farinto declared.
 He lamented that the timid nature and lack of capacity of the present Minister has created a demagogue in the customs who runs the Service with arrogant impunity without recourse to the supervising Minister.
Farinto, who was speaking in his office Friday, bemoaned the lack of professionalism in the Nigeria Customs service which he said has led to the gradual erosion of the legacy of late Abdullahi Dikko, whom he said enthroned the culture of professionalism during his tenure as the CGC.
The ANLCA chieftain claimed that the rating of the Nigeria Customs has nosed- dived under the current leadership which he accused of desecrating the trade facilitation role of the customs in its inordinate pursuit of revenue generation.

Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance

Farinto, while enumerating the numerous infractions under the current leadership of the service, blamed what he called the laid-back attitude of the supervising Minister whose words, he claimed, are not respected by the CGC.
He observed that as the supervising Minister and the chairman of the Customs’ Board, Mrs Zainab Ahmed does not exert the requisite authority on the Customs’management led by Col(rtd) Hameed Ali.
The customs broker lamented that this lack of control has led to the free, unchecked, and unrestrained reign of operational impunities in the customs.
“The economy of the country is sliding to abysmal level courtesy of NCS refusal to go professional. The issue of trade facilitation has been jettisoned while importers are continually being arm twisted to pay arbitrary demand notices on imported goods” Farinto noted.
“We are bleeding and this issue has gotten to a level that younger agents may resort to self-help should this extortion by Nigeria customs officers continue.
“The recent media seizures by the Nigeria customs service needs to be investigated. We now have what is called “Audio Seizures”, since they know the CGC is ignorant, you find some Comptollers calling press conferences for Audio Seizures, i.e seizures that never existed or repeating some seizure already shown to be public few years/ months back.
” This is not only uncustoms but a disservice to the nation which requires a  probe panel.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance is shirking in its responsibility.
“The Honorable Minister of Finance has shirked her responsibility and has completely failed Nigerians. We have put up letters on several occasions to demand clarifications on certain issues as regard import guidelines and on these occasions, the ministry has failed to respond and where she does, is unable to put NCS on her toes to abide by extant laws, directives,

Hameed Ali, CGC

or policies of the Federal Government.”

Farinto however advised the government to immediately reverse the current dangerous trend in the customs by appointing a thoroughbred customs officer to head the Service which he said is presently bedeviled with uncustoms practices.

“The Federal Government must assist the economy if Nigeria will not be doomed economically, by appointing from the crop of intelligent young Comptrollers that will move the economy forward and not amongst these ones that have not only eaten the forbidden fruits but infected by the current leadership in power”

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Exclusive! Mass retirement hits Customs as 549 officers bow out of service in 2023

CGC, Ali


Break down; DCG( I), ACG (6),Comptrollers(30), DC(68) AC (110),CSC(133),SC (52),DSC(79) ,ASC1(58) ,ASC11(11),CA1(1)

Eyewitness reporter

A whirlwind  of retirement has hit the Nigeria Customs Service as 549 officers of different cadres have been penciled down for statutory retirement in 2023,

In a circular no HRD/2022/13 sighted by our reporter, the breakdown of the affected officers shows that 1 DCG, 6 ACG, 30 Comptrollers, 68 Deputy Comptrollers, 110 Assistant Comptrollers, 133 Chief Superintendent of Customs, 52 Superintendent of Customs, 79 Deputy Superintendents, 58 Assistant Superintendent of Customs1, 11 Assistant Superintendent of CustomsII and 1 Customs AssistantI, were due for retirement in 2023.

According to the circular dated May 10th, 2022 with reference number NCS/ADM/EST/098/S.1 and signed by OM Agbara, Comptroller of Establishment for AG. Deputy Comptroller-General (HDR), the affected officers, who are being shipped out of the service on account of age or number of years in the service, are advised to proceed on three months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of their retirement.

The circular titled list of Officers/men for statutory retirement in the year 2023” reads

”I am directed to forward the attached list on the above subject matter as pre-retirement notice to all affected officers.
” ln accordance with the Public service Rule (PSR) No. 100238 and Federal Government circular No.63216/S.i/X/T; CR 1,/2OO1/5 of 2O/O3/2OOl, all affected officers due for retirement in 2023 are to disengage from the active service and proceed on three (3)months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of retirement.
” AII affected officers are to ensure compliance and forward their three months pre-retirement notice to the Comptroller-General
” Any observed error, omission, or legitimate complaints should be forwarded to the office of the Comptroller General of Customs through the Ag. Deputy Comptroller-General (HRD) on or before 30th June 2022.
” Zonal Coordinators, Area Controllers, and Unit Heads are requested to make the list available for circulation to all the affected officers in their respective Zones, Areas, and Units
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Customs High Command interdicts officers over assault on Gov. Okonwa’s aide

Eyewitness reporter
The management of the Nigeria Customs Service has reacted to the viral video where a member of the roving team of the FOU Zone ‘C’ assaulted an unarmed civilian.
In the press statement signed by Timi Bomodi, the National Public Relations Officer of the service, the Customs High Command expressed outrage over the conduct of its officer and said the offending officer and other members of his team have been withdrawn from their patrol duties and placed under administrative investigation.
“The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a video making the rounds on social media.
“In it, one of our officers was recorded assaulting an unarmed civilian.
“This action took place on the Benin – Agbor expressway on Saturday the 7th of May 2022 at about 5.00 pm.
“This officer and other members of that team from FOU Zone ‘C’ have since been withdrawn from patrol duties and are currently under administrative investigation at the NCS Zonal Headquarters Zone ‘C’ Port Harcourt.
“Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been trained to carry out their duties with dignity and respect, and are expected to display decorum in all their conduct at all times.
“Where they fail to carry out their brief as assigned, appropriate sanctions are applied to enforce discipline.
” The NCS would like to reassure the general public of its commitment to the welfare and safety of all citizens and frowns seriously at any act by its personnel capable of misrepresenting its corporate image.
“We ask that all law-abiding persons go about their activities without fear of intimidation or harassment as we work assiduously to bring closure to this unwholesome incident” the statement concluded.
In the viral video which has sparked public outrage, a Customs Officer attached to the roving team of the Custom’s FOU Zone C, was seen slapping a civilian identified as Samson Nwachukwu,  an aide to the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okonwa, along Benin/ Agbor expressway Saturday, May 7th, 2022.
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Drama as Customs officer slaps Gov Okowa’s aide along Benin/Agbor expressway (Video)

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