About 577 officers of the Nigeria Customs Service would soon be weeded out of the service on accout of age and the mandatory years of service.
According to the circular erroneously dated 27 January 2017 and titled CIRCULAR NO/HRD/2017/003-LIST OF OFFICERS/MEN FOR STATUTORY RETIREMENT IN YEAR 2018 and signed by Sulaiman, M.S.J, Comptroller Establishments on behalf of the Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali, (rtd), one Deputy Comptroller General and an Assistant Comptroller General, 11Comptrollers, 27 Deputy Comptrollers, 27 Assistant Comptrollers and 23 Chief Superintendents of Customs were placed on retirement notice.
This is even as Ali has approved the promotion of three management chiefs made up of one Deputy Comptroller General and two Assistant Comptrollers- General.
This is in addition to the redeployment of eight senior officers, a move the Customs authority said was meant to further strengthen the service capacity and consolidate on its bold gains in the year just ended.
The National Public Relations Officer of the Customs, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah in a statement he signed on behalf of Comptroller-General, said the postings were in response to the spectacular performance of the service last years and designed to further fortify its operational capacities for the New Year, noting that the postings’ takes immediate effect.
Amongst those promoted in acting capacity is Isa Talatu Mairo, erstwhile Assistant Comptroller General to the rank of Deputy Comptroller General, the Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone C, Comptroller Amajam Bukar was elevated to the rank of Assistant Comptroller General, while Comptroller David Elisha Chikan also bagged the Assistant Comptroller General rank.
While Mairo becomes the DCG (Tariff and Trade), Bukar is ACG (Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection), and Chikan is ACG (Human Resources and Development).
Other rank and file listed on the retirement notice includes 5 CIC ‘T’, 21 CIC, 21 SC, 36 DCIC, 23 DCS, 121 ACIC, 4 ACIC1, 131 DIC and 1 ASC11. The others are 83 SIC, 2 CCA ‘T’, 18 IC, 6 CCA, 3 AIC, 2 SCA and 1 CA. The affected officers are disengaging either on the basis of mandatory 60 years of age or 35 years in service, in line with the civil service rules.
They are expected to furnish the headquarters with their notice of retirement on or before end of March this year, just as the Col. Ali led management insisted that all those due for retirement must proceed on the mandatory three months pre-retirement leave, starting March 2018.
Those redeployed includes DCG Chidi Augustine from Excise, Industrial, Incentives and Free Trade Zone to Strategic Research and Policy, DCG Iferi Patience (PhD) from Strategic Research and Policy to Excise, Industrial, Incentives and Free Trade Zone, ACG Sarki-Umar Folashade from Excise, Industrial, Incentives and Free Trade Zone to Strategic Research and Policy and ACG Enwereuzor Frances, from Strategic Research and Policy to Zone D headquarters.
Others are former Coordinator of the CGC’s Compliance Team, Comptroller Azarema Ahmed, who takes over at Federal Operations Unit Zone C, Comptroller Odibu Christopher former Customs Area Controller, Ikorodu Lighter Terminal Command, now in charge of the Oyo/Osun area Command, while Deputy Comptroller Adeniran J.O formerly of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection at the Headquarters takes control at Ikorodu Lighter Terminal.
Attah in his statement said, “The CGC charged the affected officers to see their appointments as opportunities to contribute their best towards consolidating the gains of the ongoing reforms in the Service”.
Our investigation revealed that some of the 577 officers listed in the retirement notice have already proceeded on their pre-retirement leaves.
Meanwhile, the Customs management has dismissed five officers from service for their alleged involvement in illegal importation of firearms into the country.
At the time of their arrest, all five officers were attached to the Lagos area.
Operatives of the Nigeria Customs service in January 2017 intercepted a 20-feet container load of arms. When it was searched, a total of 661 automatic pump action rifles, which were carefully concealed behind steal doors, were recovered.
Eight persons including five officers of the service, the clearing agent, the driver of the truck and his conductor were arrested.
Soon after the seizure was made, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, ordered a full scale investigation into the circumstance surrounding the illegal importation.
Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Joseph Attah, who made this disclosure, said that the five officers were dismissed at the end of the trial.
Attah said that after their dismissal, the five officers and their accomplices were arraigned in an open court.