The Nigeria Customs Service yesterday demonstrated that its a stickler for due process when the most senior officer, Deputy Comptroller General, John Atte, took over the mantle of leadership following the resignation of Abdullahi Dikko as the Comptroller General.
The action may have foreclosed the usual rivalry often seen in most government agencies that do not have a strong succession plan.
Atte, a Deputy Comptroller General (DCG) in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Service (FATS) is the most senior officer and he is expected to hold forth till President Muhammadu Buhari either confirms him or appoints a new CGC.
Spokesman of Customs, Wale Adeniyi told Daily Sun that “Atte is in charge now and we await the President to state who a substantive CG will be,” he said.
Following Dikko’s resignation, top senior Customs officers have begun lobbying to take over the CG’s position considered as one of the most lucrative positions in Nigeria’s public service.
Daily Sun learnt that top Customs officers within the ranks of DCG and Assistant Comptroller-General (ACG) are romancing influential politicians to put in a word for them to be made the substantive CGC.
Aside Atte, other serving DCGs include Adewuyi Akinade from Oyo State who is in charge of Tariff and Trade; Musa Tahir from Yobe State is DCG Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection.
Others are Chukwuma Nwosu (Enugu State), Ibrahim Mera (Kebbi State) and Gabriel Aliu (Kogi State).
Next in rank to the DCGs are Assistant Comptroller Generals (ACGs).
The NCS has 17 ACGs and any of them also stands a good chance of succeeding Dikko if the Presidency so desires.
Dikko became CG from ACG, skipping the DCG rank.
The ACGs are Dan Ugo (Benue State) in charge of Excise and Duty, ACG Human Resource Development, Patient Iferi (Cross River); Strategic Research and Policy, Austin Warikoru (Bayelsa); ACG Tariff and Trade, Grace Adeyemo (Ondo); ACG Excise Department, Robert Alu (Nassarawa) and Coordinator, Zone B, Ade Dosunmu (Lagos State).
The other ACGs are Coordinator, Zone D, Paul Ukaigwe (Imo State); Coordinator, Zone C, Ahmed Muhammed (Jigawa State); ACG Human Resource Development, Adeshina Odumbaku (Lagos State); ACG Investigation and Inspection, Bello Liman (Sokoto State); ACG Industrial Incentives, Monday Abueh (Rivers State); Coordinator, Zone A, ACG Victor Gbemudu (Delta State); Madu Mohammed (Yobe State), who is serving on the NCS Board; ACG Information, Communication and Technology, Iya Umar (Adamawa) and ACG Finance and Revenue, Bridget Okafor (Anambra).
Recall that Dikko had earlier written a letter dated August 3 to President Muhammadu Buhari in which he notified Buhari of his desire to proceed on voluntary retirement from August 18, 2015 when he would have clocked six years as Customs boss.