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    Monday, September 7, 2015

    Why Buhari Chose Hameed Ali As Customs Boss

    One of the appointments that have elicited a lot of concern within and outside the new government’s circle is undoubtedly that of Col. Hammed Ali (rtd.) as the new Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service.
    While some are of the opinion that one of the Deputy Comptrollers should have been saddled with the responsibility of reshaping the service to conform with the dreams and objectives of the new administration, President Muhammadu Buhari would have none of that.
    Sources within Aso Rock told us exclusively that the rots within the Nigeria Customs would not allow the President to tow that line.
    ‘As you know, the Customs Department is only next to the NNPC in revenue generation for the government, so it is only wise for the President to bring in only somebody that has absolute trust to reposition the place, not only to flush out the “Billionaire thieves” in the uniform of the Customs, but to put life into the service so that it can complement the efforts of the new government in implementing his lofty programmes.
    “If you know this man, you will know that he is a no-nonsense man, who will not only expose all exposable, but recover the loots from the officers that are corrupt, you just wait for him to resume fully, you will see real action at work, he is a round peg in a round hole,” the source disclosed.
    Col. Hammed Ali was the military administrator of Kaduna State between 1996 and 1998, a military police, who was always seen in red cap.

    While in government, he was known to be strict, no-nonsense, he also instilled a semblance of real discipline in the civil service during his reign, which he is likely to do in the customs.
    Our investigations revealed that civil servants in Kaduna rejoiced, when he was removed as the military administrator.
    Hameed Ali holds a masters degree in criminology, which stands him in good stead to know all the tricks in fighting corruption.
    “Nigerians should discard sentiment, he is competent, an embodiment of integrity, down to earth and incorruptible, he had been with Buhari since 2002, when he forayed into politics,” said a source.
    Hameed, though an indigene of Bauchi State, is based in Kaduna, known to have no inhibition driving him in his hands prelude 1987 coup.
    As the General Secretary of the pan-Northern Nigeria body, Arewa Consultative Forum, he was always fond of driving himself to meetings in a 504 Model Peugeot car in the midst of exotic cars belonging to other members.

    One of the events that shot him to prominence during his reign as the Military Administrator (MILAD) of Kaduna State was, when he detained 18 local government chairmen in a Federal Prison over their attempt to defraud the state.
    “So expect a repeat of this during his second coming,” a source said.
    Ali also sacked ghost workers, while strict discipline and compliance to the civil service rules was entrenched.

    “It wasn’t business as usual at the customs service, initially Buhari wanted to appoint him to head the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but he changed his mind in view of the rot in the customs,” said our source.

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