Miss trainings, forfeit promotion, Customs boss warns officers

From Uche Usim, Abuja

Henceforth, officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) who avoid in-house courses will forfeit their promotions as their career progression is now tied to their performance in capacity building endeavours.

The Comptroller-General of the NCS, Mr Hameed Ali, who gave the warning at the graduation ceremony of senior course 6 at the Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, on Friday, advised officers and men to avail themselves of any capacity enhancement programme, especially now that the Service is on the verge of transforming into a fully digital establishment, with the signing of the $3.1 Customs modernisation contract a few weeks ago.

He warned them to practicalise all they have learnt as therein lies the gains of knowledge, not memorising literature.

The CGC said: “Henceforth, promotion will be tied to attending this course. Those who fail to attend will find it hard to progress in Service. There will be marks attached to the programme and you lose those marks when you are absent.

“With regards to modernisation, we are making steady progress and rising to global best practices. We recently signed the Customs modernisation project.

“In the next three years maximum, everything will be paperless in Customs. You must be computer literate. We are giving you the chance to upgrade and transact business, communicate and interact with those buttons without which you have no place here”, he admonished.

Earlier in her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Customs Board Chairman, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Finance, Mr Aliyu Ahmed, urged the Customs management to expand the facilities of the College to accommodate more staff.

She hailed the Customs management for designing courses that empty into boosting its global competitiveness.

“I congratulate the graduates and wish they put all they have learnt into good use. The Service is on the threshold of history, having signed the modernisation project deal.

“You will be expected to key into the new project and upscale. It’ll evolve into a paperless operation, boost national security and enhance revenue. Automation is key in the digital age. Integrity, hard work and selfless service remain key also. We need to explore all opportunities provided by AfCFTA, we need to reduce smuggling and trans-border crimes”, she said.

Also speaking, the Commandant, Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Wale Adeniyi said 50 officers attended the Course 6 programme.

He said all exercises were painstakingly executed, even as he charged the officers to remain of good conduct always.

He also advised them to take their health issues seriously as some of them were already manifesting early warning signs of diabetes, high blood pressure and other worrisome ailments.

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