Drama at Nigeria Customs Service as Junior Officer Moves to Take over from Ali

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Eromosele Abiodun

There was commotion at the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) headquarters in Abuja yesterday as a low rank officer, Nura Dalhatu from Katsina State, promoted himself to the rank of ‘Customs Comptroller General (CGC)’ and visited the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd.) in his office to take over as the new CGC.

Dalhatu, who is an Assistant Superintendent of Custom 1, was said to have informed Ali that he was directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to take over from him as the new CGC.

The National Public Relations Officer of NCS, Joseph Attah, who confirmed the development, said Dalhatu came to the office wearing the rank of Deputy Comptroller General.

According to him, “What happened was that the Assistant Superintendent of Custom Deputy Comptroller General, Dalhatu, from questions and answers that followed, was obviously not in the right frame of mind. So a doctor was immediately invited to examine him. He is presently undergoing medical examination at the medical unit of the service.”

Meanwhile, the NCS has approved the unbundling of some existing Area Command and the creation of eight new commands.

According to a circular signed by the Deputy Comptroller General of Customs (DCG) in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services (FATS), Aminu Dangaladima, the approval for the unbundling and creation of the eight Area Commands was granted at the 50th Regular Meeting of the NCS board held on May 21, 2019.

The Area Commands created included the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Area Command from the Murtala Muhammed Airport Command with headquarters at the MMIA; the Ogun II Area Command from Ogun Area Command with headquarters at Abeokuta; North Eastern Marine Command from Eastern Marine Command with headquarters at Makurdi and Kaduna Area Command from Kaduna/Kastsina Area Command with headquarters at Kaduna.

Others are Kebbi Area Command from Sokoto/Kebbi/Zamfara Area Command with headquarters at Birnin- Kebbi; Kwara Area Command from Niger/Kwara/Kogi Area Command with headquarters at Ilorin; North Western Marine Command from Western Marine Command with headquarters at Lokoja and Port Harcourt Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Area Command from Port Harcourt 1 Area Command with headquarters at Onne.

In a related development, the NCS has approved the elevation of the Service Command and Staff College to Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) to be headed by a Deputy Comptroller General of Customs.

A circular signed by DCG Dangaladima on behalf of the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, said the elevation, approved by the NCS board at its 50th regular meeting held on May 21, 2019, was part of the re-organisation of the Service in line with the present management’s agenda.

He stated that the action was to pave way for the college to measure up with the responsibility of developing curriculum, conducting training, ensuring synergy and conducting oversight roles in one place.

“Nigeria Customs Service TRADOC will also conceptualise training curriculum, allocation of particular levels of training to various NCS colleges, and oversees the actual conduct of training,” Dangaladima said.