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Customs Officers Jittery Over Assets Declaration Order

Posted: Jan 16, 2016 at 9:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Hameed Ali

By Andrew Airahuobhor

There is palpable anxiety among Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service since the circular directed them to make full disclosure of their assets in a new measure put in place to push transparency and compliance with the Rule of Law.

It was learnt that the directive on Assets Declaration contained in a Circular, signed by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali, is causing panick because most of the officers are living in obscene wealth garnered from alleged illicit activities at the ports and border stations.

The circular was addressed to all Deputy Comptrollers-General, Zonal Coordinators and Customs Area Controllers and directed all Officers to comply with the directive within 14 days.

According to the Circular, the directive on Assets Declaration is in compliance with “The Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act Cap B1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Though the Act provides for Asset Declaration by all Bank employees, it also empowers the President to extend its application to other categories of persons.

Specifically, Section 12 (1) states that “The provision of this Act shall apply to the Comptroller-General, Deputy Comptroller-General, Assistant Comptroller-General, Chief Collector, Principal Collector and other Officer, Staff or employee of the Nigeria Customs Service as they apply to a Chief Executive or an employee of a Bank”.

Public Relations Officer, Wale Adeniyi said in a press statement released on Friday that the Comptroller-General observed that many Officers have not complied with the provisions of the Act over the years, stating that the 14-day ultimatum for compliance will be strictly enforced.

It will be recalled that the federal government led by Muhammadu Buhari embarked on an anti-corruption campaign shortly after taking over government in May 2015. It also pledged to plug all leakages in revenue generation.

Both the President and vice president have already declared their assets and this is the more reason Customs officers are jittery as enforcement of the directive is not expected to be compromised.