On this interview, held on the sidelines of a current workshop in Gwagwalada, Ali speaks on the present points at NCS.
Uche Usim, Abuja
When Hameed Ali, a retired Military Colonel, was appointed the Comptroller Common of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), many marked him for failure by contemplating him a sq. peg in a spherical gap.
NCS in Niger collects N1.7 bn in 10 months – Comptroller
However through the years, the Customs boss has confirmed his mettle as a focussed administrator and surpassed numerous revenue targets, even in recession when the quantity of imports and exports crashed significantly.
Though, there are nonetheless numerous grounds to cowl in Customs, business watchers say Ali has, to an inexpensive extent, scrubbed off the corruption stain on the Service by enthroning probity and fairness within the system.
The brand new order has made Customs officers and males much less open to bribery as they consider strong acts of patriotism might be adequately rewarded by the administration.
Consequently, points like promotion, transfers and rewards are carried out on benefit, thus dismantling the godfatherism system.
The Service, underneath his watch, has additionally busted a number of smuggling syndicates and seized tons of of billion value of contrband.
Simply final week, his males seized 407X40ft containers of tramadol at Apapa. It has additionally seized airplanes, giant portions of army hardware, ammunition and the remaining.
On this interview held on the sidelines of a current workshop in Gwagwalada, Ali speaks extra on the present points at NCS.
We’ve maintained a degree of N100 billion month-to-month for revenue era. We’ve surpassed the revenue goal the federal government gave us for 2018. It isn’t potential to surpass the August revenue as a result of that was the height. Because the yr winds down, companies are slower a bit. However we’re dedicated to producing the most effective of revenue for the federal government.
There’s a brand new dimension in continuation of NCS’s battle towards the menace of non-compliance to import and export procedures within the nation. The Service is making concerted efforts to make sure that not solely most revenue is collected, but in addition to safeguard the safety and well-being of the citizenry.
We’re all conscious of the risks that the deliberate non-compliance to import and export procedures pose to our nation as importers usher in all method of things, which put the safety and well being of the nation at nice danger. Terrorists, kidnappers and different legal parts pay money for items reminiscent of managed medicine to perpetrate their heinous actions. It’s consistent with the willpower to battle this ugly development that the Apapa Command of the Service intercepted 40 X 40 ft containers, principally from India, laden with tramadol and different pharmaceutical merchandise with a Obligation Paid Worth (DPV) of N7.32 billion. That is the highest single seizure of medicine made by the Service this yr. The Service achieved this feat by way of vigilance and intelligence gathering inside the system, in addition to info from the Nationwide Company for Meals, Drug Administration and Management (NAFDAC), which is a robust ally of NCS.
I commend the Director Common of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, and her administration workforce for their collaboration within the attainment of this feat. It’s worrisome to notice that there are Nigerians who’re able to generate income on the expense of human lives by bringing in such amount of medicine which have grave penalties on well being and nationwide safety.
Of their legal desperation, importers of these things provided bribes to the tune of N150 million to my officers to impact the discharge of only one container with guarantees of even greater sums to comply with within the occasion that their first try succeeds.
The officers performed alongside and ultimately arrested three suspects with the cash. I can guarantee you that the continued investigation shall be thorough to deliver all these remotely related to justice.
We’re towards any importation or exportation that contravenes the provisions of the Customs and Excise Administration Act. Apapa Command inside this similar interval has additionally seized two plane; a helicopter with registration quantity SN-BLI, which was meant for export, in container quantity PONU7789246. It was falsely declared as 388 luggage of cashew nuts. This motion violates Part 36 of the Customs and Excise Administration Act (CEMA), Cap C45, LFN 2004. Investigations are ongoing to fish out the proprietor(s) of the helicopter.
The second plane, a Cessna 182A imported from america of America, loaded in container quantity MRKU 4457663 was intercepted by officers of the Space Command.
The plane was declared by means of SGD No. C130308 of 09/10/2018 and was seized due to the failure of the proprietor(s) to current the Finish-Consumer-Certificates from the workplace of the Nationwide Safety Adviser (NSA), and approval from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
That is in contravention of Part 46 of CEMA, CapC45, LFN 2004. Whereas the seizures of harmful medicine and plane show NCS’s essential contributions to nationwide financial and safety well-being, the rejection of N150 million bribe presents an image of a reformed NCS whose operatives are more and more placing nationwide curiosity above selves.
I commend the Customs Space Controller, officers and males of Apapa Command for their exemplary dedication to obligation. We additionally recognize our collaborating companions, regionally and internationally, for their help and cooperation and reiterate our readiness to strengthen the bonds of partnership and collaboration to rid the society of this menace.
For higher scrutiny of products, my administration has met with the Ambassador of India final week to work in the direction of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to allow Nigeria have well timed info on all imports to Nigeria.
When the settlement is signed, it might be obligatory for Indian Customs to oblige Nigeria Customs with import info, and Nigeria would do the identical.
Once more, it has grow to be obligatory for the intelligence models of the Service to interact in 100 % examination of products.
Collaboration with Uganda
The Nigeria Customs has reached some understanding within the space of digital cargo monitoring, which is a flagship undertaking of the Uganda Customs Organisation. It’s efficient in monitoring items in transit and within the switch of containers from one port to the opposite with out the worry of unlawful diversion.
Our Analysis and Improvement Division has been charged to take a look at all proposals and to determine what we actually have to get digital cargo monitoring in place. We hope to succeed in all stakeholders to get their buy-in.
It’s our hope that if all issues work out high quality, by subsequent yr, if the funds are given and we attain an settlement with our technologists and repair suppliers, we should always have the ability to begin one thing even whether it is on a small scale and broaden as we go on. The digital monitoring system shouldn’t be solely a matter of the know-how however we additionally should put in place the enforcement for it to be efficient.
We even have frank discussions with Uganda on anti-corruption methods based mostly on zero tolerance. We’re able to deploy applicable methods, which concentrate on addressing the essential human wants of officers and battle and convey to the barest minimal the difficulty of systemic corruption. That’s the reason I all the time urge officers of the NCS to work for the curiosity of the Customs and extricate each type of unlawful acquisition of riches and stand for what is true even when it isn’t a well-liked determination.
Financial inducement isn’t motivation. No sum of money is ever sufficient. Internal motivation (delight) is what will get you doing all of your job not the exterior motivation (cash) you obtain.
The difficulty of higher reward and motivation have been taken critically since my assumption of duties. So is also the punishment for doing fallacious. These have been upheld. Final yr, the officers who effected the arrest of the pump motion rifles have been promoted and people who have been indicted within the investigation have been dismissed and handed over to applicable authorities for prosecution. That may proceed and and like I promised through the press convention that administration of the Service will check out what has occurred and upon applicable suggestions made by their supervising officers, administration will take applicable choice to make sure that what is because of everyone seems to be given.
For the 40 containers in Apapa, three suspects have already been arrested. For the opposite 10 containers of tramadol in Tin Can, two suspects have been arrested. So, these 50 containers, Apapa and Tin Can, we have now 5 suspects.
Pretend on-line public sale
We’ve continued to enlighten the general public on the menace of on-line fraudsters and as we now have all the time stated, NCS doesn’t public sale overdue cargoes via Fb or via some humorous web creations. The one genuine public sale is the one which has a hyperlink and the hyperlink is app1.commerce.gov.ng/e-auction and to have the ability to use it, you must have a TIN, that’s Tax Identification Quantity. So, you go on the platform, fill within the quantity and all the knowledge you gave to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) once you acquired the TIN. You’ll go additional to entry the financial institution of your selection, pay the executive payment of N1,000 and proceed to bid and if you succeed, you go to the identical chosen financial institution and pay the public sale payment and others. You discover that this isn’t the identical because the pretend ones you see round on Fb, WhatsApp, the place you’re requested to go and pay cash into some personal checking account, the place you’re requested to fill in your chieftaincy title, your state of origin and all that. That isn’t right and people ones don’t have anything to do with TIN quantity and all that. So, we need to inform the general public to be cautious of those so-called presents which might be happening on the social media. There are conditions the place you’re even requested to pay some cash for transportation that they’ll ship it to your door submit. For God’s sake, which safety company will do this? There are such a lot of issues that a mean clever individual ought to know that this isn’t real nevertheless it beats our creativeness why you see individuals fall into these low cost traps. My recommendation to the general public is to be cautious of these on-line publications.
Even when the fraudsters open the fb account utilizing a Customs officer’s image, I feel it shouldn’t be troublesome for anyone to know that the truth that you see anyone on uniform does not likely imply you’re coping with a real individual.
What does it take for criminals to go surfing, pluck the image of anyone on uniform and provides him a reputation and open a pretend Fb account and with that identify and movie, individuals are made to consider they’re coping with the best individual, which isn’t true. That individual doesn’t even know that his image is getting used someplace. So, I feel the essential factor is to get to know what’s real and what’s pretend and the one option to know that is to go to the closest Customs workplace to make an enquiry or log on.
Our on-line public sale platform is totally totally different from these ones that you’ll even see a Customs officer sporting Customs uniform on the Fb and promoting it. Our on-line public sale opens each Monday to Wednesday by midday of each week.
Once more, I’m discussing with the Deputy Comptroller Common in command of enforcement and the Space Comptroller of F.O.U. Zone ‘A’; we’ll quick monitor the method and get seized automobiles auctioned.
I’ve acquired a report concerning the warehouses however I got here purposely with my officers to see for ourselves. I’m additionally discussing with the controller that we have to arrange process forces to clear all of the seized gadgets. All seized gadgets ought to be evacuated as shortly as attainable and people condemned can be auctioned instantly.
Seized items for IDPs
States internet hosting Internally Displaced Individuals (IDPs) ought to evacuate meals gadgets allotted to them. The Federal Government has mandated NCS to offer all seized perishable gadgets to IDPs, however shouldn’t be superb that even when allocations are made to states internet hosting IDPs, they’re sluggish to evacuate them.
All what the states internet hosting IDPs are accountable for is to pay for the transportation of these things to their states and typically once you give individuals 50,000 luggage of rice, it’s some huge cash. Not that the states shouldn’t have the cash for transportation however could also be it’s not their precedence. We’ll return and talk about with Mr. President and I’m positive there are different folks that want these luggage of rice.