By ZION Olalekan, ABIOLA Seun
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Alli Hammed Ibrahim has promised customs officers that their salaries and welfare packages would soon be reviewed upwards.
Alli made the promise last week at the Apapa command in Lagos after inspecting 40 containers of tramadol drugs imported from India. He said that the service was about to announce a new welfare package for all customs officers.
He however charged officers to be internally motivated, according to him, internal motivation is more important than welfare packages.
“Since I came into the Nigeria Customs Service about three years now, my concern has been about the welfare of my people. For any change to happen, if you don’t put the people first, you are going to fail.
“We are doing everything, we are working with the government and we have gotten to a stage where not too far from now, customs officers will smile because welfare packages would be coming to them.
“Motivation is key to a lot of things, you can achieve a lot through motivation, but motivation fails with time, if you don’t motivate yourself internally, no matter the amount of salary that is increased, there would come a time that your budget will overcome it.
“If for instance you are being paid N100,000 and we increased it to N200,000, for the first three months it would be like a big money, but when you begin to adjust your budget, it would absorb the money and you would begin to look for more”.
He said that the service is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India in order to check importation of Tramadol and other illicit drugs into Nigeria.
“Internal motivation is more important than anything else, if you are internally motivated, you would continue to do your best no matter the circumstance and this is what I expect from my customs officers” he said.
The customs boss also announced that discussions are in top gear with the ambassador of India in Nigeria to see how both countries can have a mutual understanding that would provide Nigeria Customs having foreknowledge of every import from India into Nigeria.
Alli said “Interestingly, last week I was with the ambassador of India and we were talking about fast-tracking the MoU for the customs mutual agreement, if we sign this, it would enable us have timely information on all export for import to Nigeria and vice versa. As of today we haven’t gotten that agreement signed so we cannot insist on anything except what they oblige us”.
Alli assured that once the agreement is signed, it becomes mandatory on the customs administration of India to provide every information on export meant for Nigeria.
“We are working hard and very soon we would get that agreement signed, but for now we have to rely on our intelligence” he posited.
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