Senator Dino Melaye & his Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Economic Waste in Nigeria visited customs headquarters yesterday and following transpired.
Dino Melaye to Hameed Ali
“…Before reading the prepared speech of the committee, let me make this small remarks on what we have just observed here in form of breach of protocols.
Mr C-G, rather than meeting us here at the conference room by way of courtesy, you were supposed to have met us at the ground floor on arrival into the premises.
That had 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, Prison Service etc, making us to wonder why it is not so here today under your leadership.
Therefore, before proceeding further, on account of this observation, we want the Customs management to know that the presence of this committee before it implies that the Senate itself is before it to put things in order as regards the economic waste taking place in the Customs Service, requiring the seriousness it deserves from you and the entire management.
If this thing happens next time, we will take a walk out…”
Hameed Ali to Dino Melaye;
“…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.
So, there is no breach of protocol for not coming down to welcome you since appropriate officers have been assigned to do so. Our protocol is our protocol and should be allowed to be.
In fact, by way of etiquette, it is the committee that is supposed to come to my office first on arrival and not just coming straight to the conference room. Let me state clearly that we in the Nigeria Customs Service are servants of the people. We believe in Nigeria and working with others to make it great without being railroaded in anyway.
Personally, I took this job because of my commitment to serve this country selflessly, having earlier done so in the military. So, nobody can tell me that am not a committed Nigerian. On your assignment you called economic waste, we shall cooperate with you to unearth whatever you want to unearth and effect any correction if there is any…”