Customs: Why CG Adeniyi Has Performed Excellently Well In Office; LOME Gives Kudos To Him

By Stephen Ubanna

Not many  are surprised  why Basir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Servvice, NCS, has performed excellently very well in the last one  year office in implementing  the core mandate  of the service, particular,  in the area of anti-smuggling operations, trade facilitation and improved revenue collection.

This is the Customs Comptroller General, over the last 20 years had been around the corridors of power in the service. Many believe that the incumbent Customs Comptroller General has been prepared for the position as he had worked closely with some of the  past  and  acting Comptroller General of the service call   like Benard  Nwadialor, Abdullahi Dikko, now late, Buba Gyang, Current Gwo gwon Jos, including   Hameed Ali ,a retired Army Colonel , appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari  and late Ogumgemile, a former acting Comptroller General of Head the service  as a Deputy Comptroller and the Customs National Public Relations officer.

Importers with the clearing agents had seen him as an encyclopedia of the service as he has every information about the service during the Administrations of Nwadio, Dikko to Ali, at his becks an call.

It was therefore not very surprising that when he was appointed  by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state, on June 19, 2023, to replace Ali, the immediate past Comptroller General, who was eased out from  about seven year in office.  The Nigerian President may have known much about the new Customs helmsman that he has tasked him ‘’to brig to bear his wealth of experience on his new assignment’’.

Taking a look at the last one year in office, the Customs Comptroller General, who could not hide his feelings could beat his chest that he has broken records in the area of anti-smuggling operations and revenue generation for the service.

The ani-smuggling and revenue generation records at the Land border stations and the Lagos ports of Apa, Tincan Island port, Port Terminal Multi-services Limited, PTML, and Onne port , in Rivers state , speaks for itself.

Industry stakeholders believes that with the backing of the Comptroller General, bother the seaports and the Land border stations are competing to make spectacular Contraband seizures. This appears to have resulted      in the interception of contraband such as illegal drugs. He had confirmed that a combined total of  127                   cases of illicit drugs   involving  narcotics  and pharmaceutical  products   valued at over N6 billion  were seized during the period under review. One of the narcotics was said to have been seized  at the outskirts of Zuru, in Kebbi state, by the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone B, Kaduna. This is in addition to the seven seizures of arms and ammunition through the country’s seaports and  land border stations.

In spite of the fact that the Customs Comptroller General had scrapped the Comptroller General Task Force, set up by the immediate Customs Comptroller in less than two m onths. General,  Adeniyi, who had set up  the service Operation Whirwind, to  strengthen the service  anti-smuggling operations by going after the petroleum products smugglers across the nation’s land border areas  had said that the team  recorded  724 seizures   of Premium Motor Spirit,  popular , petrol , that  were  attempted  to be smuggled  out of the country through the Adamawa , Sokoto and Ogun states axis.  He did not stop there. He noted that in a bid  to guarantee food security  and suppress  smuggling of  food  items in and out of the country   had resulted in the various interventionist units    making 1,744  interception of seizures  of foreign rice and  grain  valued at N.4 billion.     

Customs intecept and seize Illicit drugs

More shocking was the renewed   aggressive drive in checking travelers baggage at the nation’s international airport, cargo and mail, assess and collect appropriate Customs duties and other taxes on goods and services at the nation’s land border stations and at the seaports over the one year.

The Customs Comptroller General may have known that there are lots of lapses in the implementation of the Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA, 2023, in the pat that he did not want that to continue.  He was said to have read the riot act to the Coordinators at the Customs Zonal Headquarters in Lagos,  Kaduna, PortHarcourt and Bauchi, and the Area Controllers  of the Commands , both the interventionist and  commands overseeing the seaports to sit up and ensure strict  enforcement  of the country’s import and export restriction and prohibitions l . This is ensure that both the Interventionist units and Commands over seeing the seaports across the country  collect accurate import and export data that will help the country    in its economic statistical  usage and planning as well as  collection of appropriate duties for the government.

This may have informed why the officers at the land border stations and seaports, working according to the instructions of their Area Controllers, who in turn were said to be working according to the mandate of the Comptroller General,   use intelligence and risk assessment to target physical checks on trucks laden cargoes and Containers, vessels or travelers to ensure that adequate revenues are collected.

Recall that Apapa Command had collected N6.4 billion daily revenue in June 2012, while PTML, had collected N5.6 billion in corresponding period in 2013, which was celebrated by Ali, the then Customs Comptroller General  and his Management team , describing it as spectacular.

Volume of cargoes Discharged at APM, Apapa port

Compt. Bbatunde Olomu, barely one month of being deployed to the Apapa Command appear to have beaten the records including Compt. Babajide Jaiyeoba rtd, immediate past Area Controller of the premier record of N16 billion daily collection last February. The Apapa Command new Area Controller, who had passed through some resourceful tariff gurus in the past before getting to the enviable rank of Comptroller and to head Apapa Command, according to reports recently made available to the Value News on line Magazine   recorded a daily collection of about N18 billion, achieved on Friday, June 14, 2024, described as unequalled by any other Administration since the establishment of the Command.

An elated Compt. Olomu had said that the unprecedented     daily revenue collection is ‘’a way of celebrating  the one year in office  of Adeniyi, the Customs Comptroller General  whose inspiring  leadership has contributed  greatly in the achievement’’.  The Customs Comptroller General had told those that cares to listen that service on Thursday, June 1, 2024, had recorded a daily all time –high of N58.5 billion  in revenue collection. There are indications that much of the daily collection had come from the Apapa Command despite the drop in the volume of cargo handled at the port because of the depreciating value of the naira in the country’s foreign exchange market.

Worried by the drop in the shipment of cargoes into the nation’s seaports, which had affected the service revenue collections in the last six months may  have  informed why the Customs Comptroller General and  Olayemi Michael Cardoso, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, are said to be working round the clock  ‘’to achieve  a stable  exchange rate  for import  of goods  to enable  manufacturers and other businesses  plan  their  activities.

The Customs Area Controller who had said that the service had achieved 80% automation since the new Custtoms helmsman came on board in June 19, 2023, had said that the computerization of the service operations had enhanced the Command revenue collections and anti-smuggling operations.

Taking a closer look  at his one year in office,   the Customs Comptroller General may  have gladdened the heart of the officers when he disclosed that the service   recorded  remarkable  growth  in revenue collection  , recording a total collection  of N4.49 trillion   between June 2023 and June 2024, compared to  the N2.58 trillion  collected in  corresponding period  in 2023, under the Leadership of Ali. He had said that service , under his leadership  recorded an average monthly revenue collection of N343 billion,  compared to the N202  monthly average in the previous year.

An appreciative CG Adeniyi, had attribute the improved revenue collection of the service in the first six months of the 2024, fiscal year to  N15  billion  recovery  by  the  Revenue  Review Performance  Recovery Exercise , N2.9 billion  recovered from  the 90 –day  window  for the  regularization  of the documents   of uncustomed  vehicles,  N1.5 billion recovered from  the decongestion  of 705  overtime  Containers  and 981  vehicles  from the nation’s seaports.

The Customs  General  may have given it to the Area Controllers  for the improved revenue collection of the service within the period under review   for deployment of  officers  to sensitive posts  on the basis of merit  and capacity.  He may have alluded to the Apapa Command where Deputy Comptrollers  like Wale Adenuga, oversees , the Command Revenue Unit,  Ibrahim Turaki, described as a revenue mobilizer  in Customs Circles, APM, terminal,  Nwanze, Enforcement and Frank Onyeka, exit gate , as the Management team members work as team to achieve results.

Given the impressive performance of   in other parts of the world.CG Adeniyi over the last one year in one  may have  encouraged the League of Maritime Editors, LOME, to join other industry operators to congratulate him  for taking the service ‘’to a new level where it can compete with other Customs Administrations’’.

The Association was emphatic that Adeniyi’s Leadership of the service over the last one year   had witnessed unprecedented growth in its daily and monthly revenue collections, a bold crack down on Contraband smugglers and enhanced trade facilitations across the nation’s seaports and land border areas.

They averred that  his capacity  ‘’to foster  collaboration  with  other security agencies like the Nigerian military, Nigerian Police Force, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC,  and intelligence government agencies  like  Department of State Service, DSS,   has significantly  bolstered  its operational  efficiency’’.

It further stated that ‘’ these milestones reflect his visionary leadership and commitment to excellence, underscored by strategic reforms and policy initiatives’’.   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *