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Kaduna State of Nation Briefing: “Customs Service under Hameed Ali regrettable”

…Naira under CBN watch disgusting.

…Emefele failed.

…Praises Buhari, APC on ‘taming insecurity;’ blames PDP.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

The Nigeria Customs Service under Comptroller General, Hammed Ali, has been described as “regrettable and worst period” for being unable to root out the corrupt practices and manage the nation’s borders very well. 

This was disclosed during a State Of Nation press briefing in Kaduna on Tuesday, by a political activist, public analyst and national chairman Network for Election Education, Sensitization and Awareness, Engr (Dr) Kailani Muhammad.

Engr. Kailani also disclosed that, the nation’s currency – the Naira – under the CBN watch is disgusting, saying, “Godwin Emeifele has failed to demonstrate competence to save the nation’s currency from further devaluation, making life so difficult to the common man.”

He stated that, “As a stakeholder in the oil and gas industry, it was regrettable to hear how the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), descended so low to attack the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd without a scientific evidence to buttress his claims.

“After a careful scrutiny of Ali’s allegations against the NNPC Ltd and its Group Chief Executive, Mele Kyari, it became vividly clear that the issues he raised were unscientific and devoid of any facts.

“The accusations he leveled merely suggested how desperate he was at covering his failings as Controller General of the Nigeria Custom Services due to his inability to tame the wide allegations of corruption in the service, as well as his poor handling of the nation’s borders,” he stated.

The chairman, Kailani, and his companion noted that, “The Custom Services under him (Ali) is regrettably in its worst period, unable to root out the corrupt practices and to manage the nation’s borders very well. 

“At a point in time, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Customs, Senator Fadahunsi, had to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve Hameed Ali of his position, in order to save the organization from further drift.

“While the Custom Services continue to drift under Hameed Ali’s watch, who apparently uses ‘military approach’ to the organization that requires professional handling, Kyari has positive things to offer to the country; hence the best option is to ease Hameed Ali out and have a professional that can manage the organization very well as a round peg in a round hole,” he stated.

According to him, “The management of the nation’s currency – the Naira – under the watch of CBN Governor, Godwin Emiefele, is to say the least disgusting. The value of Naira has been nose diving, making life so unbearable to the common man.

“With official exchange rate of Naira to a dollar now at above N400, while in the parallel market it reached up to N700 and heading towards N1,000 so rapidly, it is a welcome development that the Senate has moved positively to whittle down the powers of the CBN Governor by revisiting the law that established the Apex Bank. 

“The current occupier of the office, Godwin Emeifele, has failed to demonstrate competence to save the nation’s currency from further devaluation, making life so difficult to the common man. He has apparently failed to rise to the challenges of his office. 

“Rather than focus on making the nation’s currency strong in the global economy, he regrettably, at a time became so partisan politically by wanting to become the next president, and was very unmindful of his responsibility as the head of the nation’s apex bank. 

“Now that the Senate has taken up the issue appropriately by moving to amend the law establishing the apex bank, Emeifele should either shape-up or ship-out honourably. Hence, with the CBN Governor’s ineptitude, inefficiency and ineffective handling of the apex bank, it is advisable the President should show him the way out,” he added.

On NNPC effective management, Engr. Kailani stated that, NNPC is currently a venture, operating as a “business body,” in line with the best global practices.

Said he: “Mele Kyari, who has been driving the organization with efficiency, passion and determination to turn it around as one of the best Petroleum Companies in the world, is still holding forte – a development that is giving hope to every stakeholder in the industry and at international level.

“The Kyari administration has propelled NNPC to greater heights, and the organization is being run as a successful profit venture. At the recent United Nations General Assembly 77 (UNGA77), Kyari has attracted International Community, who is willing to invest in the Nigeria Gas project.  

“The issue of zero carbon emission, the need for huge foreign investment in the development of gas as a transition fuel, the persistent oil theft in the Niger Delta region and how government laid out security architecture to reduce the menace associated with the oil production as well as the laying of gas pipelines in the African corridor were the dominant issues in his address at UNGA77. 

“Most importantly, Kyari will continue with the advocacy in Africa as he is billed to attend Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa, where issues of sustainable growth in a low carbon world would dominate discussions,” he reiterated.

Earlier, he acknowledged the country’s rough time and challenges, adding that significant successes have, however, been recorded in the areas of security, economic and infrastructural developments and in other sectors of societal development.

“It is our ardent hope that, Nigeria will witness once again a very peaceful election that will usher-in the next set of leadership to carry on with the good work started by the APC administration.

“Prior to the coming of the Buhari administration, the citizens of this country have been experiencing many challenges, but so far so good, as the present administration had successfully mitigated the major and the most unpleasant challenge of Boko Haram,” he noted.

He also stated that, the current regime is aggressively tackling the twin issues of banditry and kidnappings for ransom, particularly in the North Western states of Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi, adding that, “Government is also tackling similar challenges in Niger and Nassarawa states in the North Central part and other parts of the country.

“For these remarkable achievements, Nigerians should rise up and look forward to electing APC by giving the party another chance in 2023 and in future elections with a view to consolidating the gains recorded so far. 

“As a group, our main concern at the Network for Election Education, Sensitization and Awareness is to see to the successful conduction of a peaceful, free, fair and credible election. 

“We are aware that, electing good leaders, who are patriotic enough to advance the successes already recorded by the APC administration, cannot be achieved when the electorates are ignorant of the tasks ahead of them. 

“Hence, we take it as a duty to mobilize and sensitize Nigerians towards understanding their rights as citizens and as voters, in order to effectively end the misery and agony caused by the PDP-led administration in the 16 years the party ruled this country. 

“While we are working assiduously to put the worst moments behind us, we thank Almighty Allah that the APC administration, under President Muhammadu Buhari, is gradually stabilizing the country and is handling the nation’s developmental challenges with equity, justice and fair play.”

He also spoke on ASUU strike and inability of the APC to constitute campaign council, urging federal government and ASUU to come to understanding, for the benefit of the students and the country.

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