As the Nigerian Senate and the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali’s impasse over the former summon on the CGC to appear before it in uniform to explain its proposed and now suspended vehicle duty payment on old cars, spokesman of the Senate, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi has advocated to move for a law that will ensure that only career civil servants head government agencies and parastatals.
Abdullahi said this in Abuja, while reacting to Ali’s refusal to wear the service’s uniform.
According to him, some of the appointees have little knowledge of the workings of organisations they head, and this leads to anti-people policies, reduced productivity and other problems.
“I have a Bill I am working on; I am trying to bring my experience of how little things have brought the public service to what it is now.
“There has been reform but it has not changed anything.
“It is a disservice for me to be eyeing a career peak and just when I think the opportunity for me to get to that career peak is going to come, something happens.
“And, it is not just this one happening in the Customs, it happens in many parastatals; that is the fate they suffer unfortunately.
“So, we have to begin to choose between what is a career peak and a political appointment.
“Even within the career peak, for example, the Head of Civil Service; it is a political appointment but it is done among those who are in the career service,’’ he said.
On concerns by some experts that allowing civil servants to rise to the point of heading organisations could lead to corruption, Abdullahi said it was not a good reason to deny them the opportunity.
“The question there is that, is the system not having a way of sanctioning and discipline? There is a way of sanctioning and discipline; every career does.
“In companies, the private sector, if you are doing the wrong thing there is a discipline for you and if it means taking you out of the system, they take you out of the system.
“My take is that it is a wrong thing that I serve as officer, maybe grade level 8, rose to grade level 16 or 17, without a query, and I have very good record of performance, with promotion and everything.
“Just at that last stage, you say that if you give it to me I am going to be corrupt.
“The person who is brought in, what will he protect in the system. But the career person has contributed to the system, has defended and protected it, and has promoted the system.
“So, those who are in service have more to protect for the interest of the system than those who are brought in because they have nothing to lose,’’ he was quoted as saying.