Senate President, Bukola Saraki on a lighter note, promised the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, that he would personally move a motion that Mr. Ali should wear jeans and T-Shirt if he so desires provided that Customs ends smuggling of goods, especially rice into the country.
Saraki stated this on Monday, July 17, while declaring open a public hearing on tackling smuggling in the country organised by the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs at the National Assembly, Abuja.
Recall that Col. Ali, rtd, had refused to appear before the Senate in his complete Customs Uniform as directed by the Senate where he was supposed to explain the rationale for a planned policy directing that all vehicle owners in the country should pay duty on their cars.
Saraki at the declaration of the public hearing on tackling smuggling said smuggling has posed a serious threat to President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic policy.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, Saraki also insisted that unless the monster of smuggling is tamed, efforts being made to diversify the economy from oil would not yield expected results.
He said, “To the Comptroller General of Customs, let me say on a lighter note, that once you end smuggling, even if you want to wear jeans and T-Shirt, I will move the motion that you should wear jeans and T-Shirt,” Saraki said.
“But on a serious note, this issue is very important.” “Customs must do what it takes to stop smuggling. These are the largest economic saboteurs that are ruining our economy. We must be able to identify them.
They must be made to realize that we are serious about this issue. “We must be able to sanction officers who are responsible for this and we must be able to reward officers who prevent the issue of smuggling. We want this Committee to sit down for the length of days of public hearing and ask ourselves what is the way forward.