Increasingly, certain personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) are painting the Service as being populated by louts, Sidelines can report authoritatively.
Rudeness by certain armed personnel of the Service, particularly newly-recruited non-commissioned officers, gained currency under the administration of the immediate past Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi.
Under the incumbent Customs chief, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), bad behaviour by Customs personnel towards non-personnel has not abated.
Sidelines can only suggest that the Service adopts the template that then Comptroller Eporwei Charles Edike, now Assistant Comptroller-General and Zonal Coordinator of the NCS Zone ‘A’, deployed to sanitise the Apapa Area Command as Customs Area Controller (CAC).
Edike’s tenure had eliminated uncouth Customs personnel that hitherto held sway, making the Area Command a no-go-area for the lily-livered with business to transact at the premises.
Even as he restored the humanity of those at the Command, including Customs and other stakeholders calling there, making it a welcoming facility, Edike had not compromised on its security.
Sidelines belongs to that school of thought that effective security is subtle and polite. Sadly, these are important lessons lost on a certain off-white beret-wearing Deputy Superintendent serving at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, Lagos.