The Senate committee on customs and excise duties has told Hameed Ali to wear the uniform of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to show his designation as comptroller-general (CG).
The committee, sitting yesterday, had summoned Ali to explain the reason for the promotion and the sacking of officers without the approval of a board.
Speaking at the session, Obinna Ogba, a senator from Ebonyi central, wondered why Ali would carry on the duties of CG in civilian attire.
“Mr CG, this committee will like to know the reason why you are still in mufti close to two years after your appointment as the comptroller-general of Nigeria Custom Service,” he asked.
In response, Ali explained that his reason for not wearing the uniform is because he is a retired army officer.
He said it was against military tradition for him to wear the uniform of another organisation.
His response irked Ogba, who said, “this is how you people keep deceiving Nigerians on wrong action and still defending it,” before exiting the session.
Also, Hope Uzodinma, chairman of the committee and senator from Imo west, faulted the decision of the customs boss to promote and fire officers without recourse to a board.
But Ali blamed the ministry of finance for the delay in the constitution of a board for the NCS.
In response, Uzodinma said,
“You claimed that the minister of finance is the one delaying the composition of the board, this committee will write a letter straight away to the minister, secretary to the government of the federation and attorney general of federation to put the board in place without any further delay,” he said.
“We are releasing you to go and sew your uniform while we continue with officials of ministry of finance and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”