“I was not appointed Comptroller General to wear uniform,” Customs’ Hameed Ali replies senators

Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, Hameed Ali
Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, Hameed Ali

The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali, has replied the Senate after the lawmakers ordered him to appear in “appropriate” uniform next week over the service’s planned action against owners of vehicles without duty payment.

Mr. Ali in an interview granted Television Continental, TVC, and monitored by PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, said the Senate should be more concerned about his performance, and not his uniform.

Mr. Ali, a retired colonel, was appointed Customs chief in 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari, becoming the second to be so appointed from outside the service.

Under former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, Bello Haliru became the first head of Customs to be appointed from outside the service.

The Senate, Thursday, summoned Mr. Ali after Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi) told his colleagues that Mr. Ali had shown no regard to the lawmakers’ resolution that the planned clampdown on vehicles without duty payment be halted. The senators then stressed that he should appear in his full Customs uniform, which Mr. Ali has never worn.

“No, I was not appointed the Comptroller General to wear uniform,” stressed Mr. Ali. “Does the uniform work or the person behind the uniform?”

He added: “Am I doing my job or not? I think that’s what should interest the National Assembly.”

Two senators, Solomon Olamilekan (APC-Lagos) and Lanre Tejuoso (APC-Ogun), also said the Customs operatives had been “going after vehicles, lorries, imported rice”.

“If we suspect that smuggled items are brought into your own house, we have the rights to condone that house, and go in and search,” said Mr. Ali, hitting back at the senators.

The official said he was yet to receive the invitation to appear before the Senate.

He, however, said he was ready to appear before the Senate, if the invitation followed due process.

I am yet to receive formal invitation. If the proper procedures for official invitation to chief executives of government officials are followed, I will appear before the Senate.” he said.


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  • Irumundomon

    They have no respect, otherwise an ordinary retired colonel, stood up to challenge the Nigeria senate authority.

    • AFRICANER

      The Senate leadership, this Ali guy, all Muslims, Brits, and northerners are anti-democratic; it’s not in their DNA.

      They are autocratic by nature. They are basically laughing their asses off at southerners.

      • George

        They are laughing Tinubu and the Yorubas not Southerners.

        In South South we are waiting for them

        • Suleiman Alatise

          I hate giving orders I can’t sanction.

    • James Hatley

      Who are the so called Nigerian senate ? Those bunch of criminals ?

      • Kamalu

        Forget the elements inside the hallowed chambers, the Senate is a key institution of democracy and it has to be respected and not dimished like Hamid Ali is attempting to do.

      • paul irumundomon

        Do you know any politician in nigeria, who is not a criminal and 419?

        • kinsly

          PMB!

  • Angry Niaja

    The man is right, why should he wear a customs uniform, he was never in the Customs, but in the army, and he is retired from the military. The President is the Commanderin Chief of the Armed Forces, it does not make him liable to wear military uniforms, these bunch of low life Senators don’t have anything on this uniform issue. Yes they need to address the ridiculous directive on import license no doubt.

    • Kamalu

      It is a crass display of disdain for the service he leads if he cannot wear it’s uniform. The uniform is the first symbol of authority for anybody who must encounter a customs official.

      • Du Covenant

        It is very unfortunate you see it this way. How much respect do these so called senators have for Nigerians?.. This man is a retired military colonel, not a career custom officer, why on earth must he wear the custom uniform?. Are you confirming to the world that Nigerians are so mentally damaged that any one in position of authority must wear a uniform?. Can you tell me which uniform should the Minister of defense or internal affairs wear?..You must accept this fact that, Nigeria is in this quackmire because we deceive ourselves that we are a democracy and elect idiots to determine our destiny. No wonder we have not moved an inch since independence if this how we reason. The British should NEVER have given us independence because Nigerians would have been far better off today!. It is with a heavy that I have to accept such a bitter truth sorry.

        • Sword of Damocles

          I am at work & you have me laughing like a hyena. I I think you will kill me. But the sad thing is you are RIGHT ON THE MONEY, that’s why it is so funny.It is a VERY BITTER PILL to swallow indeed, I share that Heavy heart in Austin, More so because it is dawning on me that I may never be able to live in the land of my Father. Can you imagine how that feels like. I have been away since 1982, that is why I have nothing but HATRED(God forgive me) for our ruling elites. gotta get back to work, but thanks for making me laugh

          • Du Covenant

            My broda we are in the same boat. I have been away since 1981 and have seen what governments try to do for their citizens with far less than what we waste in Nigeria and my blood boils to see how the very Nigerians who have been cheated so immensely try to justify the worst of attitudes. The country is just finished by a greedy and corrupt elite.

  • Kamalu

    Again Hamid Ali displays terrific arrogance!. If he cannot appear in Customs uniform means he is also disdainful of the organisation he is leading

    • Adamson

      Stop it. Are you his employer. Did you know under what terms and conditions he was recruited. If anything, I doubt if wearing uniform is one of such terms and conditions.

      I think the Senators are the ones flouting the rules and displaying uncouth arrogance.

      If you want to discuss matters of policy, performance or any other official matters, you do not have to give him directives on how to dress. You are not his employers.

      • Kamalu

        Whoever his employer maybe, are you suggesting he was employed to head customs and to violate the organisation’s ethical conduct in wearing uniforms?
        Can you boldly suggest that with such level of disdain for the organisation he leads, there is any connect between him and his subordinates towards the achievement of set goals?

    • blackdove

      You are ignorant of the statutes. The law allows the president to appoint a non Career custom officer to head the agency. In simple terms, he is not a custom officer and has no obligation to wear the uniform. This retired Colonel is doing a fantastic Job, but fraudsters and smugglers will disagree.

      • Du Covenant

        Very well said!. We elect idiots as senators and we wonder why Nigeria is in a perpetual mess. When Richard Branson tried to invest in our aviation sector, elected quacks thought Virgin Nigerian belongs to them too, Mr. Branson left Nigeria and told the world what our elected officials are. By the way the brand ‘Virgin’ has excelled everywhere in the world but failed in Nigeria!. I sincerely believe that 99% of the people we elect to NASS are not fit for purpose simple. These greedy senators have smelled the coffee that this guy is a no nonsense person and will not spare them so the want to humiliate him first.

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  • Ukpaka

    Wearing uniform is senate’s own way of showing supremacy. they should let Ali do his work. Senate has not achieved anything but this is one oversight function they are interested in because all Melaye does is import exotic cars with stolen money.

  • burning spear

    Rubbish—-he is not bigger than the laws of the country—I do not understand why whenever these Fulanis are appointed into places of authority they tend to behave as if their gods——-Is he more educated than Haliru a Vet—Yet wore the Customs uniform-?-Rtd Col Ali is so full of himself–Very arrogant to a fault–A man who has never regretted his acts of helping to hang Ken Saro Wiwa-Has no place in the customs department–which has become more corrupt than corruption itself since he took over—-Latest was the killing of a man in Ogun state over 3 bags of rice by the Customs–and they have refused to apologize to the relations—The level of impunity is becoming too scary in the Customs———-for my taste—————————–

  • Du Covenant

    Thank you Mr. Comptroller. You do not need to wear any uniform!. You are doing your job and even the senators MUST duties on whatever they choose to import into this country. We are sick and tired of imbeciles with no future in any decent society define our destiny. No wonder the entire country is a laughing stock among nations. No one should make you wear any uniform especially the Nigerian scum bags called senators!.

  • Gary

    The wearing of a uniform is s non-issue. He’s a retired Army Colonel and should not be forced to wear a Customs uniform based solely on precedent. The hood does not make the Monk.

    The issue is how Ali is running the Customs as a tool of civilian oppression in a recession and if extant laws allow him to launch raids and roadblocks far away from the country’s borders.
    Customs worldwide operate solely at a country’s entry ports and borders and leave enforcement and detention of smugglers to the Police.
    Nigeria should not be any different.

    If current law allows the Nigerian Customs to operate inside the country, that is a holdover from military rule that requires legislative remedy.
    And if Col. Ali insists on being recalcitrant, then let the NASS give him a practical demonstration of the power of the purse by withholding any capital appropriations to the agency until he’s removed.

    • Tunji Olarewaju

      I agree with you on most of the issues you raised except for his being ‘forced’ to wear uniform. Nobody forced him to accept the appointment, if he feels he can’t wear the uniform because he’s a retired soldier he should resign his appointment forthwith. Customs is a paramilitary organization that requires it’s employees to wear uniform.If he’s performing his job,as he claims, without necessarily wearing a uniform, so can the least officer perform any duty without a uniform. Even, so can a student learn without wearing a uniform!
      In effect, wearing uniforms should be eradicated nationwide.

      • Gary

        You may have a point as ex-servicemen in the US transition to other professions like the Police and Airlines and have to wear the uniforms of their new services.
        The wearing of a uniform would not be an issue if Mr. Buhari had not gone outside the entire agency to bring His kinsman to run it. He can’t tell us that he could not find one qualified person of integrity within the Customs Service to head it.
        Instead, we have a retired soldier who behaves as if Nigeria is still under military rule in his approach to us “bloody civilians”.
        Ali is now double-dipping, thanks to his ties to Buhari, and denying deserving Customs Officers of a chance for career advancement.

    • kinsly

      Customs can raid anywhere. In France, Germany they even board suspicious trains and search for contrabands or even cash above €10,000. So don’t blabb what you don’t know.

      • Gary

        Trains cross international borders in Europe thus necessitating the presence of Customs and Immigration Officers on such trains. Apple meet orange. Next excuse?

        Just remember that folks you interact with online are not all villagers in Nigeria that can be bamboozled with misleading and false information.

  • Isi Agwo

    Nigeria is a jungle and Fulanis use it as their ranch/toilet.

    • Dawood

      Nigerians are more concerned with the clothing INSIDE the man. Inside, he wears patriotism, honesty, and character. Quite different from the thieves and criminals at NASS, who, OUTSIDE, are always adorned with the most Nigerian of Nigerian attires, but INSIDE, they all wear thievery, corruption, criminality, pedophilia, deceit, forgery, and a complete hate for the country and its people. Bastards! Make una leave Ali alone o.

      • Du Covenant

        Well said my broda!..God bless you.

        • Gary

          Here comes the Buhari Media Center operatives and their trademark insults and mutual approval of smears for informed opinion.
          Una welcome. Col. Ali needs all the help he can get.

      • kinsly

        Confirm. Nice one.

  • lasko

    He accepted the customs job just to find more money to steal. If he doesn’t give a hoot about the customs uniform then he also does not care about the reputation of the customs or his own.

    • FineBoy

      So a Minister for Defense will start wearing Military Uniform?

      Trash

      • Victor Ezebuiroh

        The minister of defence is a political appointment. Comptroller General of Custom is a hierarchy of the Custom paramilitary. The Comptroller is like the COAS of the Nigerian Army. Note the difference.

        • FineBoy

          They are both Political appointments.

          Even Permsecs are Political appointment. They are chosen and relived at discretion of the CIC

          • donMe$$i

            Guess you don’t know they(permSecs) are appointed from within the Civil Service..after rising thru the ranks to position of Director.

      • Adegbie Sylvester

        There is a clear diffrence between a minister and controller general. I think the problem was created by the President is our president saying there is no hard working and honest Nigerian in the Custom service even if it means to retire senior officers to pave the way for him/her to head the Service, any one to head any of the services should be ready to wear the uniform. I support the stand of the Senate.

    • kinsly

      Read your comments again, complete blockhead comments.

    • Citizen Ayinde ARM

      Me think we should be more concern with his performance rather than his apparel. If he is not found wanting in his job let him be or rather we prefer a nonperforming uniform wearing CG to a more proactive and performing CG that loathes uniform?…the decision is ours

  • NASS must stop this comptroller from stealing these vehicles with his fraudulent tricks from innocent Nigerians like his predecessor did. And his terrorism of tires, rice or food importers must stop. NASS must expose these fraudsters called customs.

    • Holy truth

      Sir, is it proper to bring into d country vehicles without paying duties on dem? Can dat happen in d US where I think u are?

      • What’s improper is a fraudulent import duties out of the reach of the innocent citizens purposely to scan and to defraud. The ex comptroller stole 20 exotic vehicles. This comptroller must be stopped.

        • Buhari4Ever

          You are still living in the fool’s paradise. Do you know the difference between Hameed Ali and Abdullahi Inde Dikko?

          • kinsly

            Gbam!

        • Holy truth

          My question again to u sir, what is excessive import duty? Most of d pple dat imports vehicles or any items into d country knows d % to be paid as duty on d said vehicles or items, but dey always want to or like to cut corners to cheat d system by not paying d correct duties dey will now connive with d corrupt customs officers & cheat d govt. D new customs boss is going after those who have cheated d govt by not paying duties or not paying d correct duties, what’s d problem with dat? U live in d US I guessed, can u cheat d US govt & go free? Even if u are Donald Trump’s son u will pay & then go to prison 4 cheating d govt. Pls let’s learn to get use to doing things d right ways in Nigeria. Anybody who is caught in d webs of dodgy deals should pay & pay through his/her nose if it warrants confiscating d vehicles or d items, so be it.

          • kinsly

            Thanks.

          • This we know. Nigeria is the toughest place on earth to do business. Corruption. How did a comptroller get 20 exotic vehicles. Chasing innocent Nigerians and stealing their imported goods in a country where close to nothing is produced is heartless. People are suffering!!!!! We made lives too hard for ourselves. Everybody want to steal from somebody.

          • Holy truth

            Sir, how did u mean dat dis new comptroller of customs is up to no good? I still didn’t get where u are coming 4rm with dat. Is it dat bcos d customs said dey will be going after pple dat brought vehicles into d country without paying d correct duties? Honestly, we Nigerians are so neck deep into dishonesty, I think it is high time to have a rethink of d ways a lot of us reason. A lot of d car dealers in Nigeria are cheating d system by not paying d correct duties on d cars dey sell to Nigerians at exorbitant price to make double profits & u here saying d new customs boss is up to no good.
            Those criminals in d NASS knows dat d customs boss is going to expose dem, dat is why dey are trying to bully him, I’m so happy dat d man is a match 4 dem.

          • tundemash

            Mor0n, you are mixing up Hameed Ali and Abdullahi Inde Dikko . Dunce !

      • tundemash

        So u think that monkey is in the US because he wrote USA beside his name ? You fell for his trick. He’s short of confidence hence teh need to attach the name of a place beside his name. Ask the cl0wn why he couldn;t have aba, owerri or lagos beside his name.

    • kinsly

      Thieve like you.

  • Holy truth

    I think one of d reasons dis gangsters/criminals in d NASS took dis uncalled for decisions dat d comptroller of customs to appear in uniform b4 dem is bcos dey want bully & embarrass him bcos dey are d ones his actions will affect badly. Y will anyone bring vehicles into d country without paying duties dat is pure smuggling. Most of d thieves called lawmakers are law breakers a lot of dem if not all of dem will have in the fleet of their exotic cars dat duties are not paid, dat is just one of d reasons dey want to bully & embarrass dis man.
    Dat toy cars freak gangsta called Dinosaur melaye dat brings in expensive toy cars is d one criminally spearheading d call 4 d comptroller to appear in uniform. I’m quite sure he never paid duties on those toy cars. What difference does it make if d man puts on uniform or not. U guys are just bunch of soulless criminals law breakers, only making laws to suit ur greedy selves.

    • justin

      You are absolutely wrong, the senators are not buying tokunbo vehicles. It’s you and I that would be affected by this. Soon they would visit your wife’s kitchen to check for the rice she’s cooking, if the duty was paid. This abnormally started last December when Easterners traveling for Xmas festivities were subjected to the untold when customs had to confiscate their rice. No one was interested because of what I don’t know. If the Senate had stopped him then we wouldn’t be saying this now

      • Holy truth

        Let’s not be self centered in our arguments sir. A lot of dis vehicles dat comes into or smuggled into Nigeria without paying duties are d ones killing other pple’s business. There are pple dat brings in vehicles with their duties fully paid compared to those dat brings in d same type of vehicles without paying duties. D smuggled vehicles will sell cheaper than fully paid duties ones. Sir, how are u going to sell ur vehicles if u are d one dat brings in vehicles with fully paid duties when there are others dat smuggled same type of vehicles? When u are thinking good of urself think good of others too. Let’s be fair.

    • absam777

      Tell them the TRUTH. The NASS is a wicked institution.

  • paul irumundomon

    I was not done, maybe he is among those, who became colonel because he is a muslim. Are you ok with this, or let him help the senate to do their job, how about that.

  • Mosley

    He was just a Colonel in the army. We have people of higher ranks in the NASS. NASS should call this man to order, he cannot be bigger than the NASS.

    • Gary

      He’s not counting on his rank but his connections to Aso Rock. Interesting that Ali waited for Buhari’s return before mouthing off to the Senate. It’s easy to connect the dots.
      Watch as the usual suspects who went quiet for the past five weeks begin to throw their weight around again now that The Godfather is back.

    • Arabakpura

      They can call him to order but not tell him what to wear! That is absolute childishness!

      • justin

        They should tell him what to wear because he’s not a private individual but a public figure

        • Arabakpura

          You have to put it in the constitution and how many public figures were told dresses?

    • Gabriel Iorsuwe

      Just a colonel u said! Has any one in your family ever attain that? I guess the answer is no. But, that’s bye the way. The pertinent issue is for us citizens to identify good policies and always hold our elected officials, most especially the NASS accountable on burning issues and stop being waylaid by them into politics on national matters. It takes courage and character to implement laws by constituted authorities, with this current NASS this is lacking! my opinion.

  • Man_Enough

    Are the senators insinuating that those who imported goods without paying the prescribed duties should be allowed to get away with the crime? Tax, the most legitimate means of financing any government, must be treated with the exigencies it deserves. It is strange that the law makers are against the enforcement of this all imported law.

    • TRUSTIN BRIGHT

      How is the user an importer? They should concentrate on the importers and not the user. They have age long leakages. Why not block these leakages instead of harassing the ordinary citizen.

      • absam777

        The new policy is part of the blocking of the leakage. But those arrogant NASS would’t have it because it affects them directly. Don’t be fooled that those thieves are fighting for the public.

        • Sani Saleh

          Then this new policy should be implemented starting from the top. All the vehicles in the MDAs, all the vehicles belonging to state governments, all the vehicles belonging to NASS and its members, all the vehicles belonging to the law enforcement agencies and so on.The law is not a respecter of status. The masses will only be too pleased to comply when that is done.

          • absam777

            I agree with you and that is what the NASS should be looking into and not harassing the man for doing his job. Uniform does not make a man.

      • Man_Enough

        The thief and the collector of stolen goods are the same. If you catch the collector you are likely to catch the thief.

  • Arabakpura

    Dino Melaye will continue to make the senate look like what it should not be – a playground for Children! They should carry out their duties with more decorum, seriousness and responsibilities! These little acts truly belittle them!

    I want to see Dino Melaye debate Godswill Akpabio on a national television on one policy issue of their parties; let them take up a burning topic and debate it; that’s how to know vibrant legislators!

    • JUVENILE IN POWER

      Dino Malaye is still in kindergarten. His juvenile comments and actions are not surprising. He did his NYSC in 2000 – 2001 in Kaduna. Some of his colleagues are still looking for jobs. How this guy rise to become a senator of the federal Republic of Nigeria is a prove that our country sadly rewards touts, noisemakers and rascals faster that mature, intelligent and cool headed citizens. For someone who said on the floor of the Senate that he will beat up and impregnate Tinubu’s wife and later went to walk through Bourdillon road, Ikoyi (Tinubu’s street) making noise that Tinubu should dare him. WHAT DO WE CAL THIS KIND OF PIKIN?

      • Arabakpura

        No wonder! Perhaps they at the senate have to enact a law that will shield children from being elected or rigged into that place!

      • Mr. cool

        That is why he is better than you. with your attitude no one can rep people like you.

        • absam777

          Your comment sounds immature . Grow up!

    • Ada Peters

      He is not making the senate look like what it is not. It is a playground for crooks. It is what it is. Debate national issues or policies? don’t hold your breath, you will be waiting for a long time. Did they get into office by debating national issues and politics??? So why would they concern themselves with such “trivial matters” when there is more wanton looting to be done. I think your expectations of these lot are too high.

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  • justin

    Abii they use Customs uniform swear for am.. why on earth should the chief helmsman of an organization cannot identify with that organization. I even saw GEJ putting full military uniform as the commander in chief of the Nigerian armed forces when he was never a military personnel, let alone this one. I see crass obstinacy and ego romp here. The Senate should put their foot down and bend him to do the needful. How would it look if all performing customs men and police are moving about in murfty with arms. Obviously no one could identify a criminal then

    • Dan maikoko

      The rule in the military is you cant wear a uniform twice. That is any uniform, military or para-military. GEJ or Yaraduwa can wear a ceremonial uniform of any of the forces during ceremonies but he cannot wear it to the office. The senate wants Ali to wear his rank in customs to the office. But Ali can wear army uniform to the office if the senate insist. That is what I believe will happen.

      • ACTION MAN

        This makes a lot of sense

    • absam777

      The question you should ask is whether the man is doing his job well. And all indication shows that he is. That is why those evil and selfish ones in the senate want him out. They want their imported cars free of tax. Wicked people.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    Mr Comptroller-General, you are a clown for making this rebuttal. You are in an organization where its various officers appear in uniforms and are recognized by their uniforms. If you think you don’t want to appear in the appropriate uniform of the organization you head, then you have no iota of reason to remain in that organization, let alone remaining as its head. What you are saying tantamount to giving an impression that you have no respect for the organization you head.Period!

    All the talk about performance or not is utter rubbish! Respect the organization you head by respecting its dress code, otherwise get out of the office! Dare the Senate and you will find yourself out of that office!

    • absam777

      Absolute rubbish. Does uniform make a man? All those Senathieves like Dino Melaye and his gay brother Saraki (or is that you) are only after their own interest. They don’t want to pay for their insanity of love for imported goods. Let the man do his job

      • Acting Citizen of Nigeria

        Are you for real? Hamid Ali said something that goes like…it’s the man behind the uniform, not the uniform! So every single army officer, every single police officer, and all other uniformed government agencies who can do his job very well can as well not wear his uniform, as long as he does his job well. That’s what Hamid Ali is saying, abi? He retired only as a colonel, and he wore his uniform until he retired, right? Is he saying he didn’t do his work well as an army officer? There’s impunity everywhere in this country because the people at the head are all as bad a this man – leadership without example, just like their Oga patapata that is talking about made-in-Nigeria but spends months in a London hospital for treatment, with planes packed there waiting for him.

        Next time I see Buhari inspecting a guard of honor, I look forward to seeing some of the troops wearing caftan.

        • absam777

          I have read a hell lot of garbage on Nigerian platforms, yours is now included. Let me quote the prophet of Nigerian Political musicians; FELA ANIKULAPO-KUTI ” Uniform na cloth…….na tailor dey so am” There is nothing special about this man wearing uniform to perform his job as a politically appointed executive officer of the customs. Also, it is not part of the requirements for the job. Just because the last comptroller, a very insecure man ( the scandal about his educational qualifications) wore uniform does not make it mandatory.

          Also, next time you want to post a point make sure it is sound and logical. The last line of your post does not make sense. Buhari,,,,, inspecting … troops wearing caftan. Does that make sense to you?

      • Maverick

        You’re ignorant. FRSC boss appears before Senate on uniform. Same with IGP, COAS, immigration boss etc. This underperforming customs comptroller has to obey. It is Nigeria that is still stake— not Senate or political party.

      • Olu from South Africa

        What is wrong in wearing the uniform? A man that is no proud of his job (including associating himself 100% with the organisation he leads) is not fit to eat from it.

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Bruv, did the same NASS not confirm Hamed’s post?

          When they did, did he appear in front of them in uniform then?

          We all know the answers to these questions. There is no compelling law to make the CG wear a uniform.

          The contents of his head and ability to positively perform his duties are far more important attributes than what he chooses to berobe or adorn himself with.

  • Dan maikoko

    Hamid Ali welcome to Nigeria where the important is unimportant and the unimportant, very important. You can bring the best innovation that may cause a revolution in engineering such that in other countries you will be considered a hero. But not in Nigeria the first questions here will be where is his degree in engineering, his school cert., primary school cert., and probably your COREN registration. Failure to produce that will kill your innovation and land you in jail. The funny thing is that all the requirement they will ask for are available for a price. You can buy a primary school cert., or WASC/SSCE or even a degree! A former custom boss was rumored to have a fake degree. Once you have the necessary papers nothing else counts.

    • Gary

      So you now want to diminish the impact of education over the antics of Col. Ali? No one has questioned his academic credentials but the issue is his suitability and temperament for the position.
      He was never a trained or commissioned Customs Officer but a retired Army Colonel appointed by presidential fiat to head the agency.
      We have a right to question the judgement of the President to turn the leadership of the agency into yet another opportunity for political patronage. Ali is thus blocking the chance of career Customs officers to reach the pinnacle of the service. Where is the wisdom in constantly bringing back retirees into government when Nigeria is suffering from massive graduate unemployment? Is government now exclusively reserved for old people under this administration?
      Then there’s the issue of the man’s temperament in approaching the job like it’s a military operation. It has already cost the death of a trader for the high crime of smuggling, right?

      They allow smuggled goods pass the borders and ports only to go after the hapless traders who engage in retail. These poor people are struggling to make a living and feed their families in these hard times in Nigeria. But Mr. Ali does not care because his military background does not allow him to think outside the use of brute force in carrying out his mission.
      If left unchecked, we might soon be reading of Customs Officers gunning down people for smuggling or selling contraband. Just like civilians who were gunned down for blocking traffic or protesting.

      Is that the society you want Nigeria to become in 2017?

      • Layo

        Thank you, you just nailed it, what is th punitive measure to those custom officers who allowed the vehicles into the country without due process? We should not be made to bear the brunt, Nigerians are suffering already, the rice also was smuggled through the borders and customs heavily settled. The guy is simply suffering from misplaced priority and desperate to drive up the government’s revenue.

    • Ada Peters

      Necessary fake documentation and total incompetence is a prerequisite for being considered a hero and an achiever in Nigeria. Hence the Nigeria we have today. A country blessed with everything mankind can ever need or want, but unable to realise its full potential due to politics of kleptocracy and ineptitude.

  • javscong javscong

    To say that we have a dysfunctional senate is perhaps very generous. A body that boasts of delinquent juveniles like Dino Melaye can not and should never be entrusted with the business of making laws or having any serious national responsibilities. What the hell has the wearing of uniform got to do with a person’s efficiency? Unfortunately we are still having a “militarized psyche” which is the consequence of the 35 years that the military brutalised Nigerians. The likes of Melaye and regrettably, a few a bit older than him, knew nothing other than military rule whilst growing up. For the older generation, the military or any uniformed organisation is most distasteful. Invite Ali to the senate if you have issues, ask him relevant questions and let him provide you with the answers. Whether he appears in khaki or agbada will not diminish or add to the substance of his answers to your questions. This senate in full of clowns!!!!!

  • Keen Observer

    The issue at stake here is not the wearing of uniform to appear before the senate. Guys get it right from the senate’s ”Hand writing on the wall”.
    The senate is fuming against heavy tax on imported cars to Nigeria which the custom boss is refusing to shift grounds on.
    Don’t forget who your senators & reps members are; these guys are majorly consuming BUT less productive. They are the major consumers of imported goods especially flamboyant cars & other households yet they come out & teach us to use ”Made In Nigeria” good. Senators will not stamp their feet ordinarily against any national policy when it does not adversely affects them. Remember their hatred for the laws that established CCB / CCT. They’re in the NASS to protect their own interest & nothing more.
    Dino Melaye particularly is a die-hard lover of imported luxury cars; as at the last counts of state-of-the art cars in his garage, I could see over DINO 15, excluding power bikes. Their number plates started from DINO 1, to over DINO 15.
    What am saying is that the Senators just wanted to rubbish the customs boss from the angle of his dressing code. Fine I’m not in any of the forces nor Para-military but I know very well that as a non serving military officer, Hamid Ali has nothing to do with wearing uniforms. Especially after he has retired from the Army. Dino Melaye is like the biblical ”Hand of Esau but Jacobs voice”. He’s the major player behind all these mischief against Mr. Hamid Ali because his interest is bruised.

    • Ada Peters

      This is what happens when a nation lacks a judiciary. If we have a judicial system in this country. None of them will smell the seat of power never mind occupying one. They will all be in jail by now. What we have in place in Nigeria can not be described as a judiciary.
      Charge and bail Judges and SANS!!

      By the way I do empathise with our current president, can you imagine having to deal with this bunch. Where do you start from

  • Adekunle Akindude

    These Senators should be asked to produce their own uniforms that the country pays for monthly These people are just bunch of fools who need to study basic Government 101 on how to legislate and treat constituencies in a democracy

    • Ada Peters

      Well said, bunch of gangsters masquerading as legislators.

  • George

    My son just asked me what is the differences between Hameed Ali and Abdullahi Inde Dikko?

    My answer to him is that one has over feed himself and retired while the other is still feeding contence of mumu Buhari

    • tundemash

      Is the son that monkey you are holding in that your dp ? Very unfortunate thing you are.

      • Prisoner of Conscience

        Very apt answer my dear.That son just like his father is another mental disaster waiting to happen…Smh

    • Gbammm…
      Nigerian Customs are baskets of crooks. To them Imported foodstuffs are unsafe. Imported tires are unsafe. Imported vehicles are unsafe. Who made them expert in safety.? The ex comptroller stole 20 exotic vehicles. This new one must be stopped.

  • Carol Ajie

    It’s akin to a male or female lawyer before a high court Judge says he or she is not obliged to wear the wig and gown. A Lawyer without the Barristers’ robe has no business being in law practice.

    • ACTION MAN

      That is in Nigeria. Lawyers in other climes who taught us law don’t wear those crap anymore. They have long dropped those stuff and moved on but we still hold on to such antique colonial mentality. Shame.

      • Olu from South Africa

        @Carol Ajie made his point. What’s your point?

        • Carol Ajie

          Thanks Olu I think his query probably speaks to jurisdictions outside Nigeria and Britain; places where the practice permits Attorneys to appear in business suits only. He deliberately concealed the fact that that is not the position in Nigeria. Hence lawyers in Nigeria will wear the wig and gown. Any Lawyer who calls his or her wig and gown colonial antiquity and kicks it in the face of Judges as reason for refusal to appear in the Barristers’ robe would have no business being in law practice.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    If Hameed Aliu, as controller-General of the custom and exercise refuses to wear custom uniform then he must be removed as custom and exercise controller, supposed to lead by good example.

  • Deji

    I think the question should be do Customs have rights to collect duty charges on imported cars?
    Are banned items the responsibility of Customs to enforce FGN directives?
    To me the answer is a resounding YES!
    Then Nigeria’s problems are just festering if the National Assembly now threatens a Government revenue and enforcement agency for doing its job.
    Customs must probe into cars used officially and personal by these sinators enemies of everything right.

  • Bello Ahmed Saulawa

    I think the Senate should focus on Important issues not a simple uniform….so wasting time and do your work >>>>