The President and Commander In Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, has approved the voluntary retirement of the Comptroller-General of Customs Dikko Inde Abdullahi CFR from service with effect from Tuesday 18th August 2015.
Dikko appears to be in trouble as a group had written a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission(ICPC) asking the commission to probe Dikko’s alleged deals.
According to documents by the group, Nigerian Customs Transparency Initiative (NCTI) is seeking a thorough probe into several serious allegations including an alleged expenditure of N3.5billion on internet facility under Dikko’s watch.
Dr. James Onoja who signed the petition on behalf of the group also asked the ICPC to beam its searchlight into several other alleged questionable issues and deals by the CG of Customs .Some of the alleged misdeeds include contravention of the Public Service Rule 070318, manipulation of promotions, high-handedness, inflation of purchase of BMW cars for senior officials.
Part of the petition reads: “The Customs Board was kept in the dark as promotions were manipulated and Customs Officials were selectively elevate d. Bootlickers, favourites and stooges were elevated to juicy and sumptuous positions and postings to Lagos and Port-Harcourt ports.
“Meritocracy was slaughtered on the altar of mediocrity. His reckless abuse of office with unmitigated religious and ethnic bias
“Purchase of vehicles: Prices of B.M.W vehicles for senior officers were criminally inflated.
“About N3.5 billion was siphoned and frittered away into his pocket through an internet project that never saw daylight.
“Thirteen containers at T.C.I.P. were impounded sometime ago. It was claimed that four Iranians were arrested with the containers two of which disappeared into the thin air ”
In particular, the group urged ICPC to take a critical look at the revenue profile of the Customs service .According to the group “There is false declaration of Annual Customs Revenue Generation. In order to give false impression of excellent performance, the Customs Service adds figure of the Value Added Tax (VAT) which Customs collects on behalf of Federal inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the revenue derived from custom duties whereas the same VAT figure has been included in the VAT revenue declared and announced by FIRS as required by law, thereby creating a misleading duplication of revenue figure derived from VAT.
Speaking with State House correspondents shortly after paying a farewell visit to President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, Abdullahi said he had nothing to fear about the ongoing investigation of revenue-earning agencies being conducted by the Federal Government.
He said, “The only way the NCS can move forward is by sacrifice; to give chance to others so that they can continue with the legacy that we have up in place.
“Revenue appreciated by 20 per cent from when I took over and the officers that did the work are still around and I think that the NCS, I stand to be corrected, is the only service that is fully automated in the system of operation.
“We have no fear. The time I’m leaving is the time I feel those young ones that have developed the software can manage the software.
“So, that is basically the reason.”
In the letter conveying his acceptance of the retirement, President Buhari expressed the appreciation of Government for the Service which the Comptroller General has rendered to the Nation in the last six years.
In a statement by Wale Adeniyi Public Relations Officer For: Comptroller-General of Customs, the CGC had earlier in the month written to Mr. President indicating his desire to voluntarily retire from service with effect from 18th August 2015. In the letter, Abdullahi expressed his satisfaction on the massive achievements recorded through dogged implementation of his six point agenda which has modernized the Service. These are;
• Capacity Building of Officers and Men
• ICT- Maximization of the potential of e-customs
• Moral Rebirth for Integrity
• Enhanced Welfare for Officers and Men
• Collaboration with Stakeholders
• Coordinated Public Relations activities to foster mutual understanding.
In a valedictory meeting held today with Officers and Men at the Headquarters, he urged the personnel to remain focused and support the incoming administration to consolidate on his achievements.