THERE is palpable confusion at the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) over the service asset declaration forms one year after the Federal Government asked all agencies officials to declare their assets.
It would be recalled that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), while responding to enquiries by a maritime firm over the issue, revealed that only 1,191 asset declaration forms were received from the Customs headquarters despite administering 1,598 forms to Customs officials there.
Speaking to Urban Express Online , a Customs Broker who declined not to have his name in print wondered why 387 Customs officers are yet to declare their asset.
According to him, “It is worrisome that such reports are out that almost 400 Customs officers are yet to declare their assets. Under this no nonsense administration, I was not expecting to be reading about such.
“After all, we now have a Comptroller General of Customs who goes about looking for corrupt agents. Maybe he should look inwards with this report of some of his men refusing to declare their assets.
“With series of retirement and dismissal having happened at the Customs headquarters, how do we know if some officers who had left declared their assets before they were asked to leave?”
When contacted, the NCS national Spokesman, Joseph Attah, told Urban Express Online that reports of some Customs officers not declaring their assets is not true as some of them had earlier declared their assets prior to the declaration by the CG earlier last year.
In his words, “When the directive came that all Customs officers should go and declare their assets, it was not as if everybody had not declared as at that time. There would have been people who would have declared a year earlier. Some officers might have declared months before that time.
“For those people who had earlier declared, they are not obliged to declare again. The directive was for those who are yet to declare their assets. It was for those sets of people to comply with the law.”
When reminded that the CCB said that out of 1,598 assets declaration forms administered at the Customs headquarters, only 1191 were returned, the Customs Image Maker replied that, “Asset declaration is between the person who is declaring his or her assets and the CCB. It’s not as if officers submit their forms to the Customs headquarters after filling it. They forward it straight to the CCB.”