Why Tinubu Confirmed Adeniyi As Substantive Comptroller General Of Customs

By Stephen Ubanna

More facts have emerged why President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a -one-time governor of Lagos state had approved the Confirmation of Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, a former Ag, Comptroller General of Customs, four months after his appointment, following the removal of Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel, as the service substantive Comptroller General amidst jubilation in Customs, CGC.

This is because of his ‘wealth of experience which the Nigerian President expects him to bring to bear on his new assignment’’ and his carriage as a Workaholic since June 26, 2023.

Willie Bassey, Director of Information in the office of George Akume, a former governor of Benue and now Secretary to the government of the Federation had said that the confirmation of Adeniyi’s appointment as the substantive Comptroller General of Customs took effect from October 19, 2023, exactly four months from the June 19, 2023, that he was first appointed by the President, noting that his ‘’tenure is in accordance with the extant provisions of the Public service Rules, PSR’’.

Adeniyi : CG Of Customs

Adeniyi, who was said to have  demonstrated his capability to do the work   may have won the heart of the Nigerian President  because of his exhibited competence and drive in doubling the service efforts  which had somewhat  assisted in no measure in making it ‘’to achieve  greater  heights  in its revenue  generation , suppression of smuggling and trade facilitation  over the last four months’’ compared to what any former  Comptroller General of the service  had done in office within such  a short period of time including the celebrated Ali, by Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration ,for taking  the Customs yearly revenue generation to hit the  trillion naira mark to be in the league of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, now baptised Nigerian Petroleum Company Limited, NPCL,, with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB,  by the National Assembly which had been signed in Law  in August, 2021, by the then Katsina state born Nigerian President.

Guided by his three-point agenda  of ‘’ Collaboration , Consultation  an Innovation’’, the Osun state born   Comptroller General of the NCS, knew that he cannot afford to fail in his new assignment.He was said to have gone all out  to promote trade facilitation  and ensure robust  operational  effectiveness of the officers at the nations seaports, airports and Land border areas across the country. He may have known that here is no way he could take the service to another level without synergising with other security agencies.

This may have informed why he had visited   Nuhu Ribadu, a former Chairman, Economic and Finance Crimes Commission, EFCC, and now National security Adviser, NSA, less than one month in office as part of the collaborative strategies of the new Customs Administration ‘’to address some of the challenges associated with the manning of the nation’s vast Land border areas’’.

He may have spoken his mind when he was accosted by Journalists who had laid ambush for him during the visit to the NSA, that ‘’the porous nature of the nation’s Lland borders  had  prompted him to visit the NSA, ‘’ to fashion  the best way  to tackle  the menace  of smuggling  which  has adverse effects on the country’s  economy  and security and which must not be allowed to continue’’.

The  CGC’s visit to the NSA, was said to have been quickly followed by the visit  to Rasheed Lagbaja, a Lt. General and Chief of  Army Staff, CoAS, for a seamless Collaboration  between  the two security  agencies. 

The Customs  boss who could not hide his feelings  because of his determination to succeed in the new national  assignment had expressed the need for both the Customs and the Army ‘’ to work together  and improve on their expertise  in the areas  bordering on tackling the activities of smugglers across the country Land border areas   and intelligence gathering   ‘’to kickstart the Administration ‘s program of distributing relief materials,  to the victims  of insurgency  and banditry at the Internally Displaced People’s Camps in different parts of the country.

He had made it clear that he would want the Army ‘’to provide the service with the necessary security and logistics support when conveying these items to the Internally Displaced People, IDP’s Camps to forestall attack by the terrorists and armed bandits on the way.  This was a complete departure from the Previous Customs Leadership style of Administration who was not ready to synergise with other security agencies because of his military background.

He was aid o have also visited Dauda Biu, Corps Marshall, of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, for an intensive vehicle database of the two government agencies. The Customs Comptroller General who had left no one in doubt of his determination to block areas of revenue Leakage and improve on its revenue generation, through the Administration’s renewed commitment to working together with the Corps in ‘’the area of human resource development, information, Communication and Technology, ICT, ‘’to curb vehicle smuggling’’. 

Seeing himself as a field officer from the onset, the Customs Comptroller General had travelled to Katsina , home state of former President Buhari,  on August 4, 2023,   to ensure that  the Nigerian President and  who incidentally is the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African states, ECOWAS,   directive  to close all  the country’s Land   borders  linking  Nigeria with Niger Republic  following the military Coup in the neighbouring West African country is complied with.

 Indeed, Adeniyi may have won the heart of the Nigerian President going by the way he has been going about his job. His directive to the security agencies personnel ‘’to focus on providing effective coverage at the Jibia-Magama  andJibia -Maje border as well as  other smaller  border routes in Katsina state to ensure  that there is full compliance  and  full blockage  of the Nigeria and Niger border speaks volume.

Recall that had suspended both outbound and outward movement of cargo within the land border areas between Nigeria and Niger in the north western states of Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi including Jigawa, in keeping with the Presidential directive an which had remained till date.

 It was therefore not very surprising why the interventionist Units, particular, the Federal Operations Unit, FOU and Joint Border Patrol Units, including the Interventionist Units in the states    over the last four months have been alive to their duties by ensuring total blockage of the Land border areas in their areas of Jurisdiction.

 Unknown to many, the former Lagos state governor had been watching the then Ag. Customs Comptroller General that when the opportunity to   confirm his appointment came, he did not hesitate in doing so, thus making him the first Customs Comptroller General to be confirmed in less than six months since the history of the service.

The Ogun state Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations had described the Confirmation of Adeniyi, as the CGC, by Tinubu, as a step in the right direction ‘’to ensure the efficiency in the service revenue generation as well as enhance the country’s security’’.

The Ogun state, NIPR, Leadership was said to have asked the ne Customs Comptroller General ‘’ to leverage   on his Professional expertise to take the service ‘’to a new height’’. His advice to the new Management team ‘’to double  their commitment  and dedication  to duty to ensure  the success of the service’’  bear eloquent testimony to the fact that he knows where he is going: to modernise and reposition the revenue generating agency’’.     

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