Customs: Ali Rewards Loyalists In Major Shake-up

Heads to Roll Soon Among ACGs, DCGs


By Bayo Bernard

The Nigerian Customs Service, NCS has disclosed that the shakeup last week was done majorly to punish perceived disloyal elements of Controller General of Customs, Hameed Ali in the Service. The development came few days after the Service redeployed 70 controllers across the country.

In a message sent to the magazine by the NCS Spokesperson, Joseph Attah, a deputy controller of customs, the NCS said disloyalty will not be allowed in the service. “In a paramilitary organization like Nigeria Customs Service, loyalty is not an option. The redeployment last week was just a routine exercise,” Attah stated

Last Friday, Ali finally wielded the big stick by redeploying 70 controllers across the country. The  development came barely a month after the magazine wrote that the Service was set for an imminent shake-up.

In its June 27 edition, the magazine had published a story titled ” DISQUIET AMONG ACGs, DCGs OVER ALI

Sources in the service had informed the magazine that the CGC was no longer comfortable with some officers in the service, he believed are sabotaging his effort to reform the service, and as such the CG was poised to effect some changes to consolidate his support base.

According to a statement released last Friday by Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, the redeployment was part of the CG’s effort to tackle smuggling, increase revenue generation capacity and improve trade facilitation.

Those affected in the current shakeup Comptrollers are Abubakar Bashir who moves from Port-Harcourt II (Onne) to Apapa; Musa Jibrin from Apapa to Human Resources Development department Abuja; Sa’idu Galadima from Information Communication Technology (ICT) to Port-Harcourt Area II (Onne) while Mohammed Aliyu of Seme Command has been directed to swap positions with Mohammed Garba of Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’, Lagos.

Some top ranking officers had informed the magazine that some ACGs and DCGs are unhappy with management style of Ali, since his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari over two year ago.

The perceived inexperience on the part of Ali in handling sensitive issues affecting the Service, the sources said had affected the relationship between him and most of his subordinate at the Customs headquarters in Abuja, so much so that suspicion now looms between the CGC and top ranking officers of the service.

Ali is believed to have lost the trust of some ACGs and DCGs working with him. The last week’s shakeup, the same sources again told the magazine, confirmed suggestion that things are not alright at the Customs headquarters in Abuja.

“The first process of whittling down the influence of those perceived as Anti-Ali group in the Customs,” the source stated

One of the sources, an ACG, told the magazine in confidence is to “deal with officers from the ranks of ACGs and DCGs.” According to him “this is the next stage in the ongoing ‘sanitizing process by the customs management of perceived opponents of Ali in the NCS.”

The source said the redeployment of the 70 controllers, last week, is already causing anxiety among other officers who are ominous of their fate. The source who declined to be named said that the ‘redeployment was done to punish those perceived to be disloyal to the CG on one hand and those seen to be working for the good of the service.”

He cited the redeployment of controllers in Lagos and Rivers state for instance. “Some of the controllers were moved because it’s not clear where they stand in the battle for the soul of NCS” the source, an ACG told the magazine on Monday, three days after the redeployment.

“Those that got good redeployment are believed to still be in the good books of the CG,” the source further stated.

“The controllers posted to Port Harcourt, Seme and Lagos, for instance are perceived in Abuja, as those who still have the ears of the CG,’ the source also said.

One of the officers posted out of Lagos told the magazine on Saturday that he “is happy as he’s now going back to Abuja to rest. I’m tired of all this intrigues. When you are in Lagos, there’s too much pressure on you, as many officers will be lobbying for your job,” adding that “now that I have been redeployed, I can now have time for my family, and do other things out of the prying eyes of the headquarter people.”

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