The Senate on Wednesday agreed to issue warrant of arrest to compel the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), retired Col. Hameed Ali, to appear before it on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
The decision was reached unanimously and the motion passed today at their plenary.
The decision of the Senate is coming at the time when the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) suspended the implementation of its policy for duty payments on old vehicles.
The NCS, in a statement, earlier today, said the suspension was placed in order to resolve issues with the Senate Committee on Customs.
The statement read:
MOTOR DUTY PAYMENT PUT ON HOLD
Following the unnecessary tension generated as a result of misconception and misrepresentation of the Nigeria Customs Service planned motor duty payment, the leadership of the National Assembly and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) met with a view to resolving the impasse. They both agreed that the proposed motor duty payment, though in line with the provision of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C.45, LFN 2004 should be put on hold while the Senate Committee on Customs & Excise interfaces with the NCS for further discussions.
While payment of duty on vehicles or indeed any dutiable imported item remains a civic responsibility of every patriotic Nigerian, NCS Management has directed that the exercise be put on hold while expressing readiness to engage the Senate Committee on further discussions to bring them on board to understand the importance of the exercise to national security and economy.
Ag. Public Relations Officer
For: Comptroller-General of Customs
Meanwhile, credible reports have it that the presidency may have waded into the crisis between the Nigerian Customs Service and the Senate to avoid a showdown.
The Senate had summoned Ali to appear before it, in his full Customs regalia, but the CG said he would not wear the uniform.
Buhari, a source in the presidency told This Day, has cautioned his appointees to avoid any confrontations with the legislature that would pit it against the executive.
In this regard, the president was said to have directed Ali to honour the Senate’s summons to prevent an escalation of the stand-off between both sides.