Some officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have written a petition to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, over what they called unjust treatment, meted out to the 2009 and 2010 upgraded officers.
The letter addressed to the Red Chamber through Sen. Gershom Bassey, pointed out that the affected officers were upgraded to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Customs (ASC 11) vide reference numbers CS/ADM/238/VOL.1, dated October 20, 2009 and vide reference No’s NCS/ ADM/238/VOL. 1 dated August 25, 2010.
The petition read in part: “The Nigeria Customs Service Board, at its 54th regular meeting held on the March 29, approved the advancement of the officers that were recruited in 2009 to 2015 as Assistant Superintendent of Customs (ASC 11). Some were advanced from the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Customs (DSC) to Superintendent of Customs (SC) and Superintendent of Customs (SC) to Chief Superintendent of Customs (CSC) vide reference No’s NCS/AP&D/94/S.1/VOL.V/21 dated 14th April, 2022 and circular No’s NCS 001/2022.”
They however lamented and argued that the advancement to the next rank made them ahead of their seniors, leaving the upgraded 2009 and 2010 officers in their present rank of Superintendent of Customs (SC) despite their many years of experience and contributions to the service and nation.
They stressed that the promotion of those recruited in 2009 to 2015 now places them above their seniors that were upgraded in 2009 and 2010, who have dutifully served Nigeria for over 30,31 and 32 years respectively.
They added that the development shows that the favoured officers are now superior to their seniors who have been saddled with the responsibilities of training, disciplining and grooming them at the Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada.
“Mr Senate President, it is a fact that command structure and methodisation is an integral part of every regimented institution, so the loss of seniority by senior officers to the junior officers can be very disruptive in the output, productivity and energy.
“It is worthy to note that this set of officers unjustly treated had all along been denied promotion and motivation by the service, resulting in cases where many stayed up to six years on one rank without promotion and without any justification to that.
“Note that an appeal letter for this correction and inclusion of this group of officers to the advancement exercise was sent to the Comptroller General of Customs immediately this injustice was done but regrettably, no remedy has been done. You may have equally read reactions from different segments of the society condemning this injustice,” the statement added.
They are, however, pleading with the Senate to direct the Comptroller General of Customs and the Nigeria Customs Service Board to include this set of the affected officers in that recent advancement/right placement exercise to their appropriate next rank in a manner that they will not lose their seniority to their juniors.
They continued: “Since the proper placement for graduate employees is ASCI as deduced from the exercise, hence upgraded graduate should be treated as no BSC is greater than the other.
“The Senate should direct the Comptroller General and Nigeria Customs Service Board to restore seniority in the service distorted with this recent exercise.”