Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Dikko Abdullahi Nnde has denied ever criticising the Federal Government’s plan to pay a monthly stipend of N5,000 to unemployed Nigerian Youths.
The report also insinuated that the CGC kicked against the removal of printed textile materials from the import prohibition list during the forum between Nigeria Customs Service and Textile Value Chain Stakeholders.
But reacting to the report the National PRO of the Service, DC Wale Adeniyi said the Comptroller-General was quoted out of context and grossly misrepresented hence the need to make clarification in the interest of those who may have been misinformed.
Adeniyi said: “The CGC never criticised the proposed stipend payment as recently announced by His Excellency, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. As a loyal Public Servant of proven experience, he could never have criticised an idea that seeks to bring welcome relief to the teeming unemployed youths in this country. Contrary to what was reported, the Comptroller General welcomed the idea as a medium term strategy with the ultimate goal of encouraging our youth to embrace the production sector.”
He said while proffering options to revamp the ailing textile industry, the CGC lamented the neglect of agriculture, especially cotton production which used to create huge employment for the youths. He said, revival of the agriculture and manufacturing sectors is the long-term solution to unemployment.
He however expressed full support for interim palliative proposal of stipends payment because people have to remain alive before they can enjoy the fruits of long- term economic policies.
On the issue of removal of printed textile materials from the prohibition list, the CGC confirmed the receipt of a circular to that effect from the Ministry of Finance. He however said that the Nigeria Customs Service as a member of the Tariff Technical Committee was not part of the Policy review process. Nevertheless, in line with the usual practice of offering input to fiscal policies, the CGC promised to engage with the relevant authorities to enrich the new policy.
“For the avoidance of doubt the CGC remains committed to the course of nation building in the discharge of his functions and would not be distracted by this kind of misrepresentation,” Adeniyi said.