Gaston: Raju stays until retirement

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There is no immediate plan to remove the comptroller of Customs, Raju Boddu, who was contracted by the government in 2012 to groom his replacement.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne said on Pointe FM that Boddu will likely remain as the head of Customs until his retirement.
“My understanding is that Mr. Boddu is now a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and succession planning will be from the standpoint of the fact that he would be approaching 60 in a few years and we will need to have someone to replace him, but not from the standpoint that he is a non-national,” Browne said.
The prime minister was responding to a question from a listener about contingency plans for several government departments that are now being headed by non-Antiguans and Barbudans.
The listener of the programme specifically asked about succession planning for the head of the port authority, the customs, and the V. C. Bird International Airport and when would their contracts end.
“I am not too certain of the status of the gentleman at the airport, but, if it is that his contract comes to an end and we are in a position to replace him then we shall,” Browne responded.
In October 2014, Boddu, in an interview, told this reporter said that his 145-plus subordinates lacked leadership qualities, and a sense of responsibility.
He also noted that they fail to display any commitment, and that shortcoming prevented him from identifying a suitable person to be groomed to replace him in 2015 when his employment agreement should have ended.
Boddu, who was contracted in 2012 by the previous administration to run the affairs of government’s biggest revenue earner, was also mandated to train his successor for when his contract expired in June 2015.
Then, the comptroller stated that despite narrowing down the field to “six to eight” possible candidates, he was also tasked with micro-managing since those in senior positions failed to take their responsibilities seriously.
Boddu was quick to add that the division is filled with knowledgeable employees, but the management skills are lacking.
 It is not known whether Boddu has had a change of heart on the leadership qualities of his subordinates. He is still the comptroller
Boddu, of India, who holds a BSc in agriculture, MSc in agricultural entomology and an MBA in general management and finance, was appointed as head of customs when the government reported annual increases in the revenue stream.

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