Nzeribe Ebere (Clearing Agent)
I think the men and officers of Customs have done noble to warrant the upward review in their salaries, for instance they were able to make N1trillion, which the WCO recognized. Therefore to whom much is given, much is also expected. I believe that if their package is robust, it will ginger them to do more. In some other climes, you see fairness, transparency and justice in how government's institutions are being taken care of. For instance if you go to the FBI in the United States, or any of the Secret Service in the European countries, they are ready to take you to the ground, they even take risk on behalf of the government because they know that if they die, there is a good package for their families, so I believe that if the Nigerian customs can do the same, it would go a long way to motivate them to generate more revenue.
Emmanuel Oyeme (ANLCA Member)
I will say the customs have done their best, considering the seizure of arms and ammunitions, compliance level at the various commands have equally gone higher, right now if you see most of the officers doing their job, some of them are always afraid, they will tell you that they want to do the right thing, I believe this was why they were able to meet up their target. So, if the government is increasing their salaries based on meeting their target, I think they deserve it.
Ojo Akintoye (Chair, IFFA, Tin Can chapter)
I don't know the criteria the Minister of finance was using to judge the customs performance, probably it is because of their revenue target, but if the government is considering increasing the salaries of Customs officers, she should also look at the practitioners in the sector, they are the ones that made the revenue to be collected, so the government must also consider the welfare of the clearing agents.
To some extent, the Customs have tried to perform their best by blocking the loopholes where their excesses were going before. Apart from having a low level of importation last year which can not be compared to previous years, customs was still able to make some reasonable money as their revenue target, this was because they tried to block the loopholes where their excess were going before, for this they deserve to be raised.
Jonathan Owoh (Freight forwarder)
The Customs deserves that their welfare should be upgraded, they deserve pay increase just like other Federal Government workers. What the government recognizes is the basic salaries being paid to the officers and not what you and I may think that they are getting outside their official pay. Whatever they are earning as a result of their interface with port stakeholders is not recognized as their welfare by law. I strongly believe that if they are further motivated, this would further reduce the level of corruption at the ports.
Dr Obiora Made (Multimix Academy)
It is a prerogative of the ministry of finance but the fact is that customs work with targets and if they exceed the target, the minister of finance might be right to say, look they need to improve on their welfare. There is nothing wrong with it absolutely as far as they are doing their work well and getting the result and they are monitoring them to know that everything is going well. So it is the prerogative of the ministry of finance who happens to be their boss to say, you guys have done well, you deserve this.
Alhaji Abdul Inuwa (NARTO)
As a matter of fact, the security of a country is very important. We all witnessed with our eyes all the illegal arms the customs recovered last year, I think they deserve increment in their welfare. I want the increment to extend to other security agencies because if it extends to other agencies corruption in the agencies will be reduced. Because they can no longer complain that they are not well paid. If the salary is good, you will have good reasons to challenge corrupt officer.
Dr Segun Musa (NAGAFF)
Yes, when you talk about customs remuneration I think there is need for government to improve on that. If the government is talking about corruption it is also the duty of the government to encourage the customs in the area of remuneration and supporting them and ensuring that their income is encouraging; in that way they will discourage corruption. That will reduce the level of corruption and we will appreciate if the ministry will do that.
Chief Increase Uche (NAGAFF)
It is a welcomed development if the government has seen reasons to increase the salary of customs, it is good. Because I am aware that the salary of Civil Defence is sometimes bigger than that of the customs, I have made the inquiry on this sometimes ago. The welfare of the officers of the Nigeria Customs Service should be taken very seriously because of the risk they take. Most times during their transfer they are not giving allowance some of them will be looking for a place to sleep when they get to their duty post. In fact the general welfare of the Nigerian customs officers and other officers the government should give them incentive for them to work, provide accommodation for them because some of them are coming from far places to their work place and they are still collecting the same salary.