Dr. Eugene Nweke (Former President, NAGAFF) I don't see much correlation between arms seizures and the CG's appointment, the sea ports have been safe and a no-go route for arms importation before now. If you understand the present workings from the within, you may however, appreciate the impunity of these arms racketeering cartel. The CGC is on defined presidential mission to instill and integrate a disciplinary culture in the service, besides increasing revenue generation, which he has told every stakeholder. So, meriting his appointment, as you put it, depends on what you are aiming at. Or did Mr President appoint him on provisional basis?
Frank Aliakor (ANLCA)I think the CG is doing well, irrespective of whatever is happening in the industry, he has got a pass mark especially in the area of administratively moving the officers to various locations. Before now, some of them have planted themselves as bottlenecks in some areas without leaving, but when Ali came, he took the bull by the horn and he is only the person that can do it, it is only a man with such a heart that can do such a thing because some people believe that they have godfathers and that nobody would move them from any area, they have stayed there for 12 years. Ali may not be a customs officer, but administratively and with his experience as a military man, he has tried.
Nzeribe Ebere (Secretary, ANLCA Tin Can)As for me I don't think with the recent developments that he merited his appointment. Why I believe so is that a career officer would have done a better job than him with the same policy on the ground . A seasoned officer that knows his or her onions having risen from the ranks would have a better understanding and temperament on the job than Col. Ali because he would be a round peg in a round hole and not the other way round as we have it today.
Tunji Obagbo (POTEMAN)Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) was a military man that was trained to fight and not to collect revenue, so, if he is not performing to expectation, maritime stakeholders should please pardon him because it is definitely not his fault. It is only those who are career customs officers that would be able to do the job better. This further underscores the fact that Nigeria needs to learn how to put square pegs in square holes. The CGC is still in a learning curve, it is the career officers that are showing how perfect or not perfect he is as a CGC.
Emmanuel AgubanzeWhen you look at the background of the Comptroller General of Customs as an ex military officer, you will agree with me that he has done well so far. We have to look at the mandate given to him by the president which is to restructure, reform and generate revenue for customs. On the issue of restructuring the customs he has done well. Before now, officers stay for decades in a particular command but immediately he came in, it changed although it took a little time. He started transferring some officers which no former CGC had done before. He also took the issue of training of officers very seriously. When you talk about revenue generation you will see that customs generate big money monthly but the issue is that there is over valuation of goods. The value they place on goods now is outrageous and that is the problem we are having. When you put so much value on goods because you want to generate revenue to the government the common man suffers it. So in the area of revenue collection, I will say that they have not lived up to expectations.
Stanley EzengaI will say that going by all the seizures so far and revenue generation; although he was not the person that made the seizures, but he has instilled discipline in system. All the officers are not working with compromise any longer, they are all working well. He has proven that it is not by wearing uniform but it is all about performance. So far he has been performing very well.
Dr Fred AjuzieHe is trying; going by his background. One of the things he has done is transferring of officers although a lot of officers are sabotaging that. So many former CGCs were not able to do that, so if that is the only thing he has achieved I will say that he has tried. There are cabals in almost all the sectors but these cabals didn't stop him from doing that. People might want to frustrate that, but he succeeded.
Jones Idemili (AREFFN)I will not give the CGC a negative remark in terms of performances. He is doing what he is supposed to do; especially in the area of seizures. What I am pleading with him is to look into the issue of FOU intercepting and seizing a container after it has been cleared by custom officers in the ports. In my assessment he is doing his job well and he is not making noise.