By Chibuike Nwabuko
…Accuses Him Of Corruption, Challenges Him To Declare His Access Prior To His Appointment And Now For Nigerians To See
…Alleges That Contract Awards And Financial Matters of Customs Are Handled by Assistant Director from CBN Who Is Col Alli’s Cousin
Abuja (Sundiata Post) Senator Ado Francis Fadahunsi has taken the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali to the cleaners, accusing him of incompetence and presiding over a custom that is wallowing in corruption.
The osun senator said it is a misnomer that Col Hammed Ali, a trained soldier for war and protection of territorial integrity of the country will be appointed to have business with the revenue matters. Adding that it for that reason that you see everything failing- the borders management has failed, the ports management has also failed and the result now is congestion.
He made these disclosures in an interview with National Assembly correspondents in his office in Abuja.
The former customs officer who said that customs under Col Alli is gone, revealed that customs can make more than N5 trillion a year with the incentives they are now given in terms of improved conditions of service if all revenues are collected but this is not possible because he does not know the technical activities of these boys. The senator who said he is talking from the point of view of knowledge said he is their boss and knows what they are doing.
He lamented that the amount made by customs from seizures were not disclosed in the 2020 budget and challenged the CG to declare how much Customs has made from all the seizures if he thinks he is not corrupt. “At a point in time, government directed that these seizures should be given to the Internally Displaced People (IDPs), but how much of these seized goods have been given to the IDPs, he called on CG to tell Nigerians and records of the IDPs checked to see if indeed the records will tally, Senator Fadehunsi said.
Still dwelling on the corruption in customs under the watch of Col Ali, Senator Fadehunsi revealed that apart from spending a whooping sum of N1.6 trillion on recruitment exercise alone, the salaries of the yet to be recruited 3,200 staff are contained in 2020 budget. He wondered where on earth has such an amount been paid to a consultant to recruit 3,400 staff not even part of their salary, asking how much did Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC ) spent in recruitment of their staff.
Senator Fadahunsi also alleges that contract awards and financial matters of customs are being given to one Assistant Director from Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) whom he said is Col Ali’s cousin, sidelining and neglecting the financial controllers of and accounts sections of Customs; Whereas you cannot see an accounts officer of customs in CBN being in control of their financial management. This abnormality is now customs that is why the customs today, which was the first largest revenue earning of government, is as good as gone.
Reacting to CG’s claim that custom met its target; the Senator asked who gave them the target? If it is senate Committee headed by Senator Maikena and myself, we know that customs cannot make less than N5trillion, because Col Ali does not know the technical activities of customs boys, a quarter of the money is gone. If really we want to work for Nigeria not to borrow money again, customs must collect to the last kobo, he said.
He frowned at a situation where customs officers are giving target and asked what will happen to the excess when you give target? While also commenting on the border closure, Sen Fadehunsi said that border closure is illegal and that Nigeria is bleeding adding that border closure has done the economy more harm than goods.