Tuesday 17th October, 2017
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Ali and Customs' uniform: Abdullahi advocates career civil servants to head agencies

Ali and Customs' uniform: Abdullahi advocates career civil servants to head agencies

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.