Senate Summons Customs CG Over Car Duty, Insists He Must Appear In Uniform

Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali
Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali

Members of the Senate have resolved that the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali, must appear before it to explain the proposed vehicle duty payment policy of the service, insisting that the CG must appear in his uniform.

The Senate was irked by the insistence of the Customs to continue with the policy in spite of a resolution by the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday that the plan be put on hold.

Recall that on Wednesday, acting Public Relations Officer of the Customs, Joseph Attah, addressed a press conference where he told newsmen that the Service is offering a 60% rebate on the duty payment accruable to cars that are imported into the country from 2015 downwards.

He also said that points of payment has been liberalised to include all Customs Area Commands in the country, with the exception of Lagos and Port Harcourt, where residents should pay at the Zone A and Zone C Customs Headquarters respectively.

Speaking on the development, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Dino Meaye, said it was unfortunate that agencies of government do not respect the resolution of the Senate.

He said: “The senate will take a resolution and an agency of government will have the temerity, will have the guts, the strength to blatantly disregard the Nigerian senate. It is a very dark day for democracy.

“I’m a member of the customs committee. I want to educate some of us. The position of CGC has a rank.

“When he appeared before the committee, I asked why he does not wear uniform, and he said uniformed men don’t wear uniform twice.

“I reminded him that he retired as a colonel and that a general was appointed as the Corps Marshal of the FRSC and he proudly wore the uniform of FRSC.

“We need to check this properly, we are taking a decision on behalf of the people, and an agency decides to disrespect the Nigerian senate?

“If they are taking duty on Nigerian roads, and the president is passing, no customs officer will stop him and ask for papers, they will rather salute him.

“The senate has resolved that we invite the CGC to appear in plenary with his uniform to either justify or falsify this statement.”

Subsequently, the motion was put to a voice vote and it was agreed that the Comptroller General should appear before the Senate next week Wednesday.