Customs chief must appear before us in uniform – Senate


The Senate on Thursday mandated the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), to appear in plenary in appropriate uniform on March 15, to address the issue of Customs tax duties on vehicles.

This followed a Point of Order raised by Senator Dino Melaye on a publication in Daily Sun newspaper of March 9, which reads: “Customs dares Senate, says no going back on implementation of duties on old vehicles.”

The Senate had recently directed the Customs to stop the proposed plan to punish anyone that fail to pay duties on vehicles within a month of bringing them into the country.

The resolution followed a motion by Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Na’Allah, who described the new policy as a serious matter.

According to Melaye, the most important arm of government is the legislature and the Nigeria Customs cannot function without the National Assembly.

“The customs cannot spend or survive without appropriation and oversight.

“And if this Senate will take a resolution and an agency of government will have the guts and the strength to disregard the institution of the senate, it is not good for democracy,” he said.

Melaye said government existed to serve the people and not the people in government, adding that if the “Senate had taken a position in the interest of Nigerians and an institution of government would disrespect the Senate, it is unacceptable.”

“I hope this was a misrepresentation that they did not take that position.

“This comment can only be made in a military government, where an individual, a parastatal or an institution of government will confront the power of the Senate.”



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