The new Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd) on Friday evening gave a clear warning that corrupt officers and men in the agency will be sent to jail.
He also said Customs Area Controllers, heads of units, departments will be accountable for infraction that has to do with false declaration,
misapplication of the tariff, undervaluation and concealment.
Ali read the Riot Act at his meeting with all officers and men at the Customs Headquarters, in Abuja.
The meeting was a closed door session and the text of Ali’s address was kept under wraps because of the tension which enveloped the meeting.
Although there was panic among the top brass of the service, Ali said he will reward hard work in the same manner he will punish offenders.
He said: “Since I took over (Thursday), I have been receiving briefing notes to enhance my understanding of the Nigeria Customs Service. I have articulated some ideas to start with, and I have found it necessary to share these ideas with you. These ideas shall be the guiding principle and platform for a smooth takeoff.
“First and foremost, it is important that we know where we are going. We can start by ensuring that we pick up the mantle of Mr. President’s policy thrust. Therefore, in conjunction with you, moving with you and fighting with you we will fight corruption and restore discipline through attitudinal orientation for effective service delivery.
“However, I must stress this for emphasis. I will not tolerate indiscipline. I will not tolerate corruption. I have zero tolerance for corruption.
“Considering my military background, I believe punishment must be punitive for others to see it as a deterrent. Therefore, as an officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, if you are caught involved in corruption, I am not only going to dismiss you, I will make sure I prosecute and jail you. That is basic!”