Ogun: Acting Compt. Shuaibu And His Officers Moves To Block Smugglers Routes

By Stpehen Ubanna

Guided by Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, acting Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, three-point agenda of ‘’Consolidation, Collaboration and ‘’ may have why Deputy Comptroller Ahmadu Shuaibu,Arae Controller , the Ogun I, has synergised with the Command Deputy Comptrollers and moved a step furth to Collaborate to Collaborate with stakeholders and Youths of the Land border Communities to  block  smugglers’ routes in various parts of the state since assumption of duties on September 18. 2023, and now.

 Informed sources told The Value News that until his resumption of duties in the interventionist Command which he had regarded as ‘’a call for higher responsibility’’, he knew he has a major challenge at hand  . This is because of the alleged administrative lapses in the Command inherited from the previous administration and which had been subsisting over the years in Command where’’ the Deputy Comptrollers, who incidentally were Heads of Units were mere figure heads’’.

Take for instance, the DC. Administration, who was supposed to be the custodian of information in the Command does not even have an idea of the quantities of Contraband seizures made in a given week let alone knowing how release were carried out.  

 The Value News online Magazine findings shows that the field officers, who are well connected to the Area Controllers of the Command do most of the jobs which were said to have been rubber stamped by the Area Controller, making the   junior officers to be too powerful.  Those who were said to have complained in the past about the neglect of their offices by the Area Controller who ought to protect their interest were said to have been redeployed to the Customs Headquarters or other Commands

 It was gathered that the staff officer Seat, believed to be occupied by a lower rank officer, and who prepares the staff duty roaster whatever he likes with little or no supervision from the DC. Admin. The DCs, were said to have only been contacted in the drawing of the duty roster to know where they would want any of their favoured officers   to be fixed which was very demoralising.

Acting Comptroller Shuaibu may have seen from the onset that this cannot continue as he was said to have made some administrative changes and made the Deputy Comptrollers and Heads of Units to do what is expected of them in the various positions to improve on the operations of the Command.  Indeed, the Customs Comptroller, was said to have carried the DCs, along in the running of the affairs of the Command and regularly holds individual Consultations with each one of them.

  Another major innovation that was said to have been introduced in the Command within the short period of DC. Shuaibu’s administration in Ogun I, is the holding meeting every Monday with members of the Management Team comprising of  the Deputy Comptrollers  and those overseeing the Command outstations, Checkpoints and Heads of the  various Patrol Teams in the state where issues concerning the day to day running of the Command are paced on the table and thoroughly discussed and decisions taken which are passed down the line.

 The Ogun I, Deputy Comptrollers, and Patrol Team Leaders who may have known the importance attached to the various meetings instituted   by the Area Controller that they cannot come to the meeting unprepared or with noting to show for the week to avoid playing into his mind or be rebuked fo non performance.

   This may have informed why the Heads of the various checkpoints and the various Patrol Team Leaders and their members are struggling on a weekly basis to make spectacular seizures to win the heart of the Area Controller who is determined to break records in the state.

Apart from carrying members of the Management Team along in the running of the affairs of the Command, Ag Comptroller Shuaibu, was said to have also sought the collaboration of the Youths in the Land border Communities in the Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigerian President home state.

At a recent symposium, organised by stakeholders, and youths of Idiroko in Ipokia, one of the flashpoint   Local government Areas of the state to mark Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary, Acting CCompt. Shuaibu, was said to have called on the Youths of the border Communities ‘’to partner with the Command in the enlightenment Campaigns aimed at tackling the menace of smuggling operations in the stat.

 Giving a Lecture on ‘’Smuggling and Harding of Petroleum Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popular, petrol:  Effects on Border Communities and National Security’’, the Customs boss who was said to have been represented by one Charles Ogunesan, a Deputy Comptroller, may have spoken the mind of the Area Controller when he lamented the ceaseless attacks on the Command patrol team officers and which he gad said would ‘’no longer be tolerated as the Command will visit force with force.

 He may have made the Youths, to understand that the Command had made seizures of about N2 billion worth of Contraband goods between January 1, 20203 to September 30, 2023, an interval of nine months, noting that if such amount had been injected into legitimate trade, it would have gone a long way to improve the economy of the border Communities and the country in general.

As a prelude to the Idiroko public lecture, the Customs Comptroller was said to have initiated an intelligence gathering network that was said to have been used at the defunct CGC Strike Force Team A, Lagos Zonal office in getting coded information on the smugglers’ operations in the south western region, leading to seizures of spectacular Contrabnd including prohibited wildlide items like Pnagolin scales, Elephant tusks and so on.

May believe that DC .Shuaibu had laced what he is currently doing at Ogun I, with the strategies adopted at the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone C, Owerri, Imo state, when he was the Head of the Command Enforcement Unit during the administration of Compt. Victor Dimka, now rtd, in dealing with the daredevil smugglers shuttling between Nigeria and the central African country of Cameroun by Land and the Creeks to smuggle Contraband, particular, foreign rice,  through  Bakassi Penisula and Ikom axis , which are distributed to various markets in Cross river, Akwa Ibom and other neighboring state of Abia and steps to deal with the smugglers operating in Edo and Delta states.

The superlative performance of the Command in its ant-smuggling war between September 18, 2023 and September 30, 2023, may have encouraged Adeniyi,  the Customs Comptroller General  who was on a working visit  to the  south western region on Friday, October 7, 2023, to showcase   the Command Ogun I, intercepted Items deposited at the Abeokuta, Government Warehouse before proceeding to  FOU, Zone A, Lagos, under the close watch of  DC.Kehinde Hussain Ejibuno, , who is overseeing the  entire  south west states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo Osun, Ekiti and Ondo  anti-smuggling operations.

Adeniyi, Ag CGC, NCS, sShowcasing Contraband Seizure To The Press At Abeokuta

The Customs Comptroller General who was beaming with smiles was said to have   presented  1, 433, used pneumatic tyres which he has, described as unsuitable for Nigerian roads, 53 sacks and 569 parcels of cannabis sativa, popular, India Hemp, weighing 1,179K valued at about N100 million to the public to show that his officers are alive to their duties in a state where there are over 94 inappropriate routes used by smugglers.

This is in addition to the seizure of 3,149 bags of 50Kg each of foreign par boiled rice, and 32 vehicles used for Conveyance of the seized Contraband goods and other Contraband and ammunition worth N17 million. Suffice to say that Ogun 1,

The total combined value of the Contraband items that was said to have been intercepted by the Ogun I, Command within the 12 days of DC. Shuaibu’s and his officers ‘’anti-smuggling operations in the state’’, was put at about N242 million by DC. Abdulkari, and his officers in the Command Valuation Sea.

The Customs Comptroller General based on information at his disposal had said that the various Contrabands items intercepted by the Ogun I, in the 12 days of its anti-smuggling operations under the Leadership of  Ag.Compt. Shuaibu were made   at different Locations including , Papa/Ajegunle, Ilaro Road, Imasayi/Joga Road, Ijebu Ode axis and Odogbolu path along Ijebu Ode road in Ogun  state.

Ogun I, Intercepted Pneumatic Tyres

An elated Adeniyi, who had had stopped short of praising Ag Compt.. Shuaibu and his officers had said that the Contraband seizures bear eloquent testimony ‘’ to the service’s renewed determination and strategic deployment of both human and material resources’’.

He was said to have made it clear to those that cares to listen his administration’s mission remains ‘’to curb illegitimate trade’’, insisting that that ‘’there is need for the NCS and the Army  to collaborate to do so’’.

The   seamless Collaboration, between the two security agencies, the Customs Comptroller General, noted would provide opportunity for the two agencies to work together and improve their expertise in the areas of fight against smuggling, counter-terrorism, intelligence and extending humanitarian support to the public.   

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