Customs Officers’ Wives Association, COWA, Lagos Zone, has hailed the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Inde Dikko Abdullahi, for what it called his “fairness, sense of justice and balancing” since he took over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The association, which comprises wives of men and officers of NCS, said Abdullahi exhibited these attributes in the recent promotion exercise in the service. This action, according to them, has liberated their spouses from several years of stagnation and enhanced the economic status of the individual families who benefited from the exercise.
NCS had in a recent promotion exercise elevated to the next rank, over 5,000 officers and men after written examinations and interview. Merit, federal character and availability of vacancy were used as the only yardsticks for the promotions.
The association, in a statement in Lagos, said before the emergence of Abdullahi as Comptroller-General in August 2009, most officers and men of the service stagnated on one rank for upwards of eight years.
“COWA places on record that apart from the recent promotions, the Comptroller-General has achieved, to his credit, a cardinal re-positioning of the service since assumption of office. Prominent among these are provision of equipment and huge investments in staff welfare, training, provision of comfortable living quarters, among others”, it said.
According to the association, other laudable strides are in the area of enhanced revenue generation and the enthronement of hard work and sense of commitment now prevalent in the organization.
A cross-section of members who expressed views on the promotion exercise also refer to the transformation of the service to a professionally-transparent organisation with global recognition as part of the numerous achievements the service has recorded under the present Comptroller General.
“In a country where public service is characterised by crass ineptitude, inertia, inefficiency and ineffectiveness, it becomes unarguably worthy of commendation for a public servant who has distinguished himself from the rot of the land for the high ideals of hard work, transparency and patriotism”, it added.
The association expressed support for NCS in its determined effort to take NCS to greater heights. The association, which is an umbrella body of wives of customs officers, has the wife of the Comptroller-General of NCS, Hajia Sadia Dikko Abdullahi, as its National President.
Over the years, Hajia Abdullahi has given a lot of impetus and direction to the activities of the association with the appointment of her husband as Customs boss.
It was gathered that following numerous self-enrichment programmes put in place by COWA under her leadership, many customs officers’ wives have benefitted immensely from vocational training in areas of handicrafts, bead-making, hair-dressing, and are now proud contributors to the finances of their respective families.
The association urged all qualified officers and men who missed the recent promotion exercise to take advantage of the opportunity for appeal provided by the Comptroller General to have their cases reviewed.
It also thanked the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is the Chairperson Nigeria Customs Service Board, for facilitating and approving the promotions.
The association called on Abdullahi to build command secondary schools for children of customs officers and others as centres of excellence across the country.