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Nigerian Customs denies sacking 48 officers

Contrary to speculations and news report that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has fired over 48 senior officers fingered in cases of abuse of office and corruption, the Acting Public Relations Officer of Customs, Joseph Attah said the officers concerned were those sacked last year in a previous exercise carried out by the service.

In a release, Customs said “The attention of Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a misleading publication by a section of the media, concerning a supposed dismissal of 59 officers by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd).

“This misleading report quotes a circular dated 19th January 2017, signed by the Ag. Comptroller (Discipline). Obviously, the originator of this story came across an otherwise internal communication and without verification, went to press with a story that is capable of causing panic, fear with negative consequences on the morale of the workforce.

“The Service wishes to state as follows: That sometime last year, these officers were served with various disciplinary actions ranging from warning, retirement to dismissal for different offences.

 “That the Public Relations unit then issued a press statement on the development which was widely reported by the print, electronic and online media.

“That as a routine practice of keeping officers and men of the Service informed, the Ag. Comptroller (Discipline) compiled the names of all officers affected by the disciplinary action for circulation to all customs formations across the country.

“The notification to serving officers and men is in keeping with the Service pre-emptive measures to deter any affected officer who may choose to hang around to engage in illegalities.

According to Attah, it is not always advisable for ewsmen to stumble on an internal communication of an organisation and rush to press without seeking for clarification.

Attah made it clear that “The story is false and represents a repetition of same story delivered as new”.

“While the NCS will not hesitate to discipline erring officers, such action is usually painstakingly driven through all well established disciplinary procedures. Accordingly, all service personnel and the general public are advised to discountenance the misleading report.”