By Stpehen Ubanna
Not many people are surprised that DC. Ahmadu Shuaibu,a former Comptroller, Ogun II, Command with Headquarters at Abeokuta, Capital of Ogun, home state of ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo, saddled with ‘’the responsibility of enforcing and regulating factories under excise Control and parcel Post related activities’’ basically meat for collection of excise duties for the government could be redeployed to Ogun I, an Interventionist Unit, in the recent minor reshuffling of the Area Controllers by Adewale Bashir Adeniyi, MFR, the acting Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Comptroller General.
Informed sources told The Value News that since April, 2023, The Ogun II, former Area Controller had prepared his handover Note which was said to have been kept a closely guided secret but continued to be update every month waiting for a time a successor that may be appointed to take over from him.
Unknown to him he has been positioned by Adewale Bashir Adeniyi, the Osun state born Customs Comptroller General following the removal from office of Hameed Ali, a retired Army colonel and the immediate past Customs boss to replace Compt. Bamidele Makinde of Ogun I, because of his expertise in Enforcement which was said to have fully manifested at the defunct Comptroller General of Customs, CGC, Strike force Team A, Lagos Zonal office.
In a well-attended handover ceremony on Monday, September 18, 2023, by Heads of other Nigeria security agencies at the Idiroko Land Border, Head of the neighboring Benin Republic Customs Administration at Igolo and other Benin Security agencies personnel, including the Secretary General of the Inter-Border Forum, the Ogun I, new Customs helmsman who had addressed Compt. Makinde, the former Area Controller of Ogun I, as ‘’my Superior and good brother’’ had described his redeployment to the Interventionist unit as a ‘’call for higher responsibility’’.
DC. Shuaibu, described as a nononsense anti-smuggling officer in Customs circles may have taken advantage of the presence of the entire Management Team and other senior officers of the Command at the event to send a message to those who may think that it is going to be business as usual that he will ‘’discharge his duties diligently and uphold the policy trust of the CGC’’. Amidst thunderous clapping of hands.
He may have made himself clearer in his short speech when he ‘’sounded a note of warning to the smugglers, fraudulent exporters and their Collaborators both within and outside the country that ‘’their nefarious activities will no longer be condoned’’, stressing that ‘’ anyone caught in the act, shall be brought to book’’.
The Ogun I, new area Controller, who had commended his predecessor in his anti-smuggling war in the south western state, may have gladdened the heart of the officers when he disclosed that he is ‘’a team player and officer who believes so much on team work’’. He was said to have urged the Command anti-smuggling and Patrol Team Leaders and their members ‘’to work as a team, adhere strictly to the rules of engagement and discharge their duties in conformity with the NCS Act, 2023’’.
The former Ogun II, Area Controller may have gladdened the heart of Compt. his predecessor as well when he said ‘’Let me congratulate my boss on his successful tour of duty with laudable achievements’’, noting that he was not surprise by his’’ impeccable performance considering the fact that he is an ‘’articulate and result oriented Leader’’ which was said to have also been confirmed by the officers who spoke to the online Magazine.
The superlative performance of the former Ogun I, Customs Comptroller, may have informed why DC, Shuaibu, had assured him of ‘’ continuity of his anti-smuggling policies and sustaining the Command high level performance tempo’’.
For the business Community and other Critical stakeholders of the Command who are afraid that the new Customs Administration might introduce some anti-border Community policies that might jeopardise the existing cordial working relationship between the parties, but the new Ogun I, Customs helmsman was said to have reassured the residents of the border Communities and the entire business Community in the state that ‘’the new Customs Administration will operate an open door policy and strengthen the existing Cordial relationship with the Command’’. This is why residents of the Border Communities , the Community Leaders ad Paramount Rulers including the Youths must be ready to work with the news Management Team and anti-smuggling officers at Ogun through volunteering of information of reliable of information that would help the officers in the discharge of their duties instead of seeing the Customs personnel as their enemies or aid and abet the activities of the smugglers to sabotage the country’s economy.
In his remarks to usher in the new Area Controller of Ogun I, Compt.Mankide, who appears to be I hurry to report at the Customs Headquarters going by his looks, had presented his report card of stewardship of 17 months in the Command which was said to be very impressive despite the overbearing influence of the Federal Operations’ Unit, FOU, Ikeja, Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, under the close watch of DC. Kehinde Hussai Ejibunu’s men, ad who are swarming like bees in the state.
The activities of the Border Drill and the defunct CGC, Team A, Strike Force, personnel in the state was seen as a problem as the parties were aid to be working at cross purposes as the resident officers were always put on the high jump to force them to go extra mile to outshine their competitors in making spectacular Contraband seizures.
Given the Command revenue target of N136, 532,168.22 set for the Command in the 2023, Fiscal year by the Customs Management, he had said that the Unit had generated the sum of N127,122,058.00, which is about 91% of the target, meaning that he expects his successor, DC. Shuaibu, to take advantage of the remaining three months and some days to the end of the 2023 Fiscal year to hit the revenue target and even overshoot it. He has no doubt in mind that he will deliver o his mandate because he is’’ a revenue mobilizer’’.
Enough on Ogun I, revenue generation under Compt. Makinde. We turn to the Command’s anti-smuggling operations within the 17 months and some days in the month of September, 2023, that the former Ogu I, Area Controller, was still I -charge of the affairs of the Area.
Given a insider information, he had said that the Command had recorded 1,479 seizures comprising 1,245 rouds of live ammunition, 72,980 Bags of foreign par boiled rice of 50Kg each, which is equivalent of 122 trucks load, 907 bales and 236 sacks of second hand clothing 394 sacks and 678 wraps of Caabis Sativa, popular, Indian hemp, and 655,400 litres or 20 tankers load, of Premium Motor pirit, PMS, popular, petrol, with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N6,604,107,655.92.
An elated Comptroller Makinde , who is going back to the Customs Headquarters with his head high could beat his chest that that’’ his tour of duty witnessed significant increase in Ogun I, Command, reveue generation and improved anti-smuggling operations’’.
He noted that the successes recorded by the Command within the over 17 months he had stayed in the Command would have been ‘’haphazard ‘’ but not ‘’for the support of the Customs Headquarters, concerted efforts of the officers and men of the Command and the robust synergy with the critical stakeholders’’.
Appealing to the officers ‘to redouble their efforts’ and give DC.Shuaibu, the incoming Area Controller of the Command all’’ the necessary support and Cooperation’’, noting that ‘it is the only way to sustain the performance tempo of the Command’’. He was said to have also solicited ‘’the unflinching support of the critical stakeholders of the Command for the new Area Controller who’s posting to Ogun I, he had described as ‘’well deserved’’ and’’ wished him a successful tenure’’.
Many believe that with the change in baton I Ogun I, Command, the era of FOU Zoe A, anti-smuggling officers pursuing suspected smugglers to their homes at the Idiroko border axis to impound foreign rice is over as the Command have the required officers to contain the activities of the smugglers. They noted that FOU, Zone A, personnel to strike without the knowledge of the Ogun I, Controller is nothing other than to give the Command a bad name of being ineffective in the discharge of their duties. All Customs Interventionists Units must synergise as they are working towards achieving the same goal: Contain the activities of smugglers to ensure that foreign rice and Vehicles, which the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administrations had banned from entering into the country on January 1, 2017, do not find their way in.