Why Nigeria Customs Service needs reform ― Reps

Hon. Albert Adeogun while contributing to the general principles of the Bill to repeal the Customs Service Board Act and re-enact The Nigeria Customs Commission Act gave reasons why the modification has become necessary.

According to Adeogun, the Board the House is making effort to repeal is non-existent. The Controller-General of Customs is the sole driver of all processes.

“Anywhere he (CG Customs) goes he is ready to sack Assistant Controller Generals, Controller; he is going to jail them. There is no order. Today, even senior officers who went through exams, he has concluded it that he will consider them on the bases of merit without recognizing federal character. Federal Character is instituted in our constitution, not for fun, it has a purpose.”

The bill was sponsored by Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso sponsored the bill, he hopes it will give Customs more financial, administrative and operational autonomy as the second largest revenue-generating agency in the country.

He said: “it is evident that one of the factors militating against innovation and efficiency in the Nigerian Customs Service is the lack of autonomy in the formulation and execution of its operational policies without recourse to the Ministry of Finance.
“Hence the agreement with service providers is always entered on behalf of the Nigerian Customs Service by the Federal Ministry of Finance and not by the Nigerian Customs Service itself.
“This always led to unnecessary delays in Customs’ operations. In the ports, for example, in the event of scanners’ breakdown, or failure, the Nigerian Customs Service does not have direct access to the suppliers of the scanners because the service providers still retained the franchise of their repairs and ought to service or maintain them according to their agreement and understanding with federal Ministry of Finance.”

When the Speaker Yakubu Dogara called for a voice; the bill passed without dissent and was referred to the relevant committee for further legislative input.

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