Now that Dr Nwadialo has been confirmed and decorated as Customs cg, what’s next?
In the front page comment that was carried in our Volume 2, 13th Edition, we pleaded and gave reasons why Dr Bernard Shaw Nwadialo should be confirmed as the substantive Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service. That comment was titled “Government should confirm the appointment of this Customs CG or…..”
We had asked in that piece that since government had in the past appointed and promoted Jacob Gyang Buba as substantive Customs Comptroller General from the rank of an assistant comptroller general (ACG) and also appointed and promoted Hamman Bello Ahmed to the rank of a substantive Customs boss from the rank of ACG, why has the same government refused to confirm Deputy Comptroller General, Dr Bernard- Shaw Nwadialo as Customs Comptroller General.
We had also argued that if government did not confirm Dr Bernard Shaw Nwadialo, it would be unquestionable to assume that there were subterranean reasons other than what the ordinary Nigerian could fathom.
In 2003, when Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Mustapha served notice of voluntary retirement as Comptroller General, the lot fell on Mr Tayo Ogungbemile who rather than being appointed substantive head of the Service was made acting Comptroller General despite being the most senior Deputy Comptroller General.
It is good that the ‘jinx’ is broken and it is up to Dr Bernard Shaw Nwadialo to justify his appointment, even though he has a few months left in service.
The Comptroller General Nwadialo’s management has, in the last few weeks taken two decisions which are likely to cause unrests and disaffection in the service. First, he promoted about 40 deputies controller to comptrollers, second, he redeployed all areas controller.
Insinuations have started flying around as to the real reasons behind these actions. Some have hinted that that he wanted to place his own men at strategic positions and that the promotions were meant to pave way for mass retirement of comptrollers who have been stagnated on that rank for at least 10 years.
While it is traditional for Customs bosses to have interests in postings, what should be paramount on the agenda of Comptroller General Nwadialo is the mirage of injustices that have been meted out to officers; especially in the areas of promotion. He will also be making maximum use of the opportunity of being CG if he is able to push for more attention for the service, engender professionalism and work towards meeting the unprecedented revenue target of about N600 Billion for 2009.
These are achievable if he is given more than the five or six months which (statutorily) he has left in the Nigeria Customs Service. It is doubtful if government will do this, but it is not impossible, given the fact that if he is removed in a few months, Nigeria will be having the seventh Customs CG in 11 years!.