Following the seizure of about 50,000 jerry cans of petrol by the officers of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja recently, stakeholders have called on the management of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), to reward the officers with accelerated promotion.
The officers of Rapid Response Team headed by Chief Superintendent of Customs, Jack Okpabi, intercepted about 50,000 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also called petrol worth over N1.5 billion in Ijofin area of Ogun State.
The men, about 10, were reported to have gone into the creeks in the middle of the night to intercept the products, which were on the verge of being smuggled out of the country.
Recall that Deputy Comptroller and National Coordinator, Comptroller General Strike Force, Mr Abdullahi Kirawa, was promoted by the former Comptroller General of the Service, Abdullahi Dikko, for his startling seizure of close to 10,000 bags of rice in one fell swoop in 2012, along the Seme/Badagry axis.
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), has therefore called for the promotion of the officers involved in the seizure to encourage others.
The National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Joe Sanni, said the promotion would serve as reward for hard work, saying: “I support the promotion of the officers, who went all out to combat smuggling and intercept these products. There should always be reward for hard work.”
“I think if reward for officers who have done well to combat smuggling is instituted, and such rewards await those who go the extra mile to ensure that they curb smuggling, I think it would help discourage compromise by officers, and better results will be achieved.”
Also, a clearing agent at the TinCan Island Port, Ebenezer Banwo, urged the Comptroller-General of Customs, Ahmeed Ali, to encourage officers who put their lives on the line to make spectacular arrest.
Banwo, who noted that the officers could have allowed themselves to be compromised, and allow the products leave the shores of Nigeria, insisted that fine officers should be motivated.
He said: “they are super officers that need to be rewarded with promotion and commendation to tell others that integrity pays. The officers should also be used as poster boys of the Service, because I learnt other security agencies compromised and had allowed the product to leave until the team came to stop it, and intercepted it.”
He also noted that the Service had not made such remarkable seizure in one fell swoop in its history.
Making reference to the National Coordinator, who was then promoted by Abdulahi, Banwo enjoined Ali to also promote these set of officers to encourage.
The Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Aminu Dahiru, and the Customs Area Controller, Zone A, Aliyu Mohammed, had said a recommendation for the officers who made the seizures would be written to Mr. Ali.
Mr. Dahiru said: “On the side of the officers, a report has to be written and in this report we can create a kind of attention for them, and we will explain how they had to set up surveillance and other strategies to make these seizures; but definitely this is not a small feat.”
Corroborating, Mr. Aliyu assured, “What I can tell my men is that they should guard these seizures, and like the ACG said, we will write our recommendation and don’t be surprised the CGC can promote all of them.”