Customs boss shades NASS members: ‘I don’t need to come down to receive you’
The Comptroller General (CG) of the Nigerian Customs Service Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) yesterday had a face-off with members of the National Assembly, who accused him of not receiving them properly when the latter paid a working visit to the headquarters of the outfit.
Led by Kogi Senator Dino Melaye who is chairing the ad-hoc committee, the lawmakers were miffed that consequent upon their arrival at the customs headquarters, they had expected to be received by the customs boss himself, but rather than Ali coming down to receive them, he met with them at the conference room.
“Let me make these small remarks on what we have just observed here in form of breach of protocols. Mr CG, rather than meeting us here at the conference room by way of courtesy, you supposed to have met us at the ground floor on arrival into the premises.
“That has been the practice of statutory bodies headed by Chief Executive Officers like you. Relevant senate committees have over the years been accorded this by bosses of Immigration Service, Prisons Service etc, making us to wonder why it is not so here today under your leadership,” Senator Melaye said.
The Customs boss while reacting to the alleged protocol breach said the customs service has its own protocol on receiving guests like the NASS members.
“There is no breach of protocol for not coming down to welcome you since appropriate officers have been assigned to do so.
“We have our own protocol as regards receiving visitors like you. I don’t need to come downstairs to receive you just as nobody in the Senate or House of Representatives has ever come out to receive us anytime we visit the National Assembly.
“Our protocol is our protocol and should be allowed to be. In fact, by way of etiquette, it is the committee that supposed to come to my office first on arrival and not just coming straight to the conference room,” he said.