Again, Customs boss fails to honour Senate's invitation


The Comptroller -General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, rtd who has been summoned to appear before the Senate tomorrow, said on Tuesday that he can not appear because he has a management meeting to attend.

Senate who spoke on the contents of the latter described the actions of the CG as brazen disrespect for the institution of the Senate while the Senate unanimously resolved again that the CG must appear before it unfailingly as scheduled in his appropriate uniforms.

The motion was later seconded by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu without amendment.

This is coming just as the Customs boss stated in a letter he wrote to the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, that the controversial policy on vehicle import tariff policy has been put on hold.

However, when the second letter was read on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday as the reason for the CG absence at the plenary, numerous senators were further infuriated.

Ali was summoned last Thursday over the planned implementation of penalties on vehicles without duty payment.

"Secondly, the letter was signed by someone else, not the CG of customs".

Ali is now on the hot seat for allegedly disrespecting the Senate.

The Customs service said that the suspension was placed in order to resolve issues with the Senate Committee on Customs.

He said that the essence was to bring the Senate on board to understand the importance of the exercise to national security and economy.

The Customs spokesperson, Mr. Joseph Attah explains in a statement that the plan has been put on hold after a meeting between Customs and the leadership of the national assembly.

"While the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise interfaces with the NCS for further discussions". reports that as a way of parcifying the already enraged senators, the Customs CG suspended the policy to impound vehicles without duty payment.

This follows the uproar that greeted the Customs Service's new directive on duties to be paid on imported vehicles which is yet to be abated.

The service gave a window of one month, from March 13 to April 12, for auto owners to pay the appropriate duty on their vehicles.

The lawmakers had told the comptroller-general to appear in uniform, prompting Ali to say he was not appointed to wear uniform.

He said the senate should oblige Ali and grant the extension to show "that we are different".

The move was condemned by the lawmakers who insisted that Ali must appear before it in uniform as requested by the legislature.