The House of Representatives has repealed the Customs and Excise Management Act, which allows the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to be appointed from outside the service.
In its place, enacted new legislation.
The new bill now seeks to make it mandatory for the Comptroller General to be appointed within the ranks of the officers of the agency.
This will end the appointment of non-custom officers to that position if the bill eventually becomes law.
The current CGC, Hameed Ali, a retired army colonel, was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Ali’s relationship with the lawmakers has been less than cordial, and it worsened during the furore over whether Ali should wear uniforms or not.
Ali then told the legislators, “My not wearing a uniform does not breach any law. No law, to my knowledge, compels me to wear a uniform. No law says in doing my service, I have to wear a uniform.”
The lawmakers, therefore, ejected Ali from the chamber following a motion to that effect.
On Tuesday, the Committee of the Whole of the House considered the report on the bill and passed it.
The sponsor of the bill, Leke Abejide (ADC, Kogi), who is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Customs, while speaking on the report, said this is the first major reform of the law in 63 years.
He noted that the existing act is obsolete and cannot meet the needs of customs in the digital age.