Against the backdrop of media reports suggesting that the President was shopping for a replacement for the present Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikko, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has warned those behind such media campaign to desist from such act as it is only the President that has the power to remover the Comptroller General from office.
The warning was contained in a press release issued by the founder of the association, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam , a copy of which was obtained by Primetime Reporters at the weekend.
Aniebonam in the release titled,” Federal Government of Nigeria Shops for New Customs Boss, Rejects Dikko’s Request for Extension of Service, the Ranting of Ants and Enemies of Transformation Programme of Mr. President at Work”, wondered why for the past four years in office, a clique of people who may not be comfortable with the leadership style of the Comptroller General continued to hunt him about through blackmail, sensational reports and all kinds of things.
The release read in part,” an informed mind should have known that civil service regulation is very clear as to issue of service duration which is either 35 years or 60 years of age whichever one is first. It is on record that the Comptroller General of Customs is yet to be indicted through neither administrative enquiry nor a court of law. The Comptroller General of Customs is not a contract staff by any standard or imagination”.
“Experience has shown that government may have realized that each time an officer of the Federal Republic in a strategic position is getting bad publication that it means that such an officer is doing his work well”.
“The government is likely to see such an officer as blocking the criminal elements from cheating the Federal government of it interests. The point herein is that those criminal elements will always come up with all sorts of blackmail to clear the officer off their way to enable their criminal activities thrive. It is very surprising that Comptroller General of Customs who within four years has succeeded in retrieving the past glory of Customs is facing this kind of blackmail”.
Aniebonam however noted that the records were there for any sincere person to see for himself that within four years of his administration, that the revenue collection is at an all time high, the welfare of officers and men are unprecedented, capacity building in the area of training and retraining of officers, anti smuggling function, taking the Nigeria Customs Service to the global world and trade facilitations which he has greatly encouraged.
He expressed disbelief that an uncommissioned media officer of the government can tell Nigerians that the federal government was shopping for a new Customs boss just because newspaper houses perceived that as hot news to sell their papers believing that some unscrupulous Nigerians were merely abusing the privilege of the freedom of expression.
The NAGAFF boss maintained that Alhaji Inde Adbullahi Dikko was doing excellently well hoping that the civil service rules on tenureship which is 35 or 60 years terms stands as a civil service regulation of the federation.
He urged Alhaji Dikko to continue with the good work he was doing and be assured that that the greater number of Nigerians appreciated what he was doing.
“Dikko should not bother himself because the same group of enemies of Nigerians does not even spare Mr. President in their blackmail. The CGC should stay focused, steadfast and extremely careful because of all these enemies lurking around the corner”, Aniebonam advised.