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As Nigerians begin to drive a sudden campaign for the removal of the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Hameed Ali, over recent overbearing influences arising from his policy somersaults and the excesses of officers on patrol in some parts of the country, there are indications that the next move by the Senate may be calls for his removal.
Besides, observers say the call for his removal has become unavoidable considering the recent observation by the Chairman of Presidential Committee on Anti Corruption, Chief Itse Sagay who decried that since the life of this administration, corruption in Customs and one other agency has grown geometrically.
The disclosure means that the principal target President Muhammadu Buhari considered before appointing him to head Customs which is fight against corruption has failed.
On the other hand, since his appointment, stakeholders in the industry has continued to reject his appointment saying he has no idea of the way and manner the Service operates and therefore will draw the Service back for a long time before understanding the system, thereby giving more room for abuse and service breaches.
This seems to be playing out as despite the Senate directive that the he should suspend the proposed vehicle duty ultimatum that is due to be effective on April 12, NCS has responded, saying it was granting 60% rebate on the Duty Paid Value (DPV) on vehicles before and in 2015.
Signal to this scenario played out when the Acting Public Relations Officer (PRO), Joseph Attah, said the grace period began on Monday and would last till Wednesday April 12, 2017 for vehicle owners and dealers to pay at the nearest Customs Area Commands except for Lagos and Port Harcourt.
“Visit any Customs command near you and verify your papers and know if the right duty was paid. Ignorance is no excuse. There is a one-month grace period for now with 60 per cent rebate.”
Attah hinted that soon, owners of smuggled vehicles without duty will no longer be able to register them or renew their vehicle papers.
Already, Customs has perfected alliance with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Federal road Safety Commission (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), and Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to be frustrating Nigerians on main roads.
It would be recalled that the Senate had on Tuesday directed the NCS to suspend the directive until it receives a proper explanation by the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali.
The Service has not given the explanation even before rolling out more directives on the matter which the Senate had objected to.
However, Attah was quick to say that the Service will provide adequate information to explain the objective to the National Assembly.
“Senators are respected representatives of the people. When we visit them, we shall discuss and I’m confident that with the gains in this action, they’ll see reasons.”
The image maker claimed further that the need to compel all vehicle owners to pay duty is to boost revenue and enhance national security through the Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) project.