By Stephen Ubanna
Betweeen Late July and now, there have been rumours making the rounds that Adewale Adeniyi, acting Comptroller General, of Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, who is not new to the politics of Customs is going to follow thefoot steps of Kayode Egbetokun, the acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, who has at various times promoted and redeployed state Police Commissioners , Assistant Inspector Generals and Deputy Inspector Generals of Police.
The Police IGP, who was said to have been appointed into office at the same time with Adeniyi, the Customs , acting Comptroller General, was said to have started with the redeployment of 35 CPs, on assumption of office. The latest of such redeployments was that of seven DIGs to various Departments and the promotion of some deserving officers to the rank of DIGs by the Police Service Commission, PSC, under the Chairmanship of Solomon Arase, who incidentally was a former IGP. The DIG were said to have been elevate to their new rank on the recommendations of the Police boss.
It was therefore not very surprising why officers and men of the NCS, at the various Customs Formations across the country including those at the seaports and border Areas, including those at the Zonal and the Customs Headquarters have given kudos to Adeniyi and his Management team, for taking the bold initiative to redeploy some serving Area Comptrollers and Comptrollers holding strategic positions at the Headquarters to new Commands and Departments.
Prior to the redeployment exercise, the Comptrollers at the Area Commands were said to have joined the other Management staff at the Customs Headquarters for much of last week at the instance of the acting Comptroller General for a general meeting.
Informed sources told the Value News that there was no signs that there would be any form redeployment of Area Controllers at the Management meeting at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Acting CG Adeniyi may have tested the waters with the redeployment of the Area Controllers and some other Comptrollers from the Headquarters to various Customs Formations across the country preparatory for a total redeployment soon .
Compt. Jayeioba Jide, formerly of Oyo/Osun Command, a basically Interventionist Unit , was said to have been moved to Apapa Command , where Auwal Mohammed, his successor, has been elevated to the enviable rank of acting ACG.
Another major redeployment of the Customs helmsman was that of of Compt. Oloyede Adekunle, a Computer guru and former Area Controller of the Tincan Island Area Command and his replacement with Comptroller Dera Nnandi , of Seme Command.
Until his redeployment to Tincan Island in February 2021, to take over from the then Compt. Abdullahi Musa, popular, MBA, now an acting Deputy Comptroller General, Trade and Tariff, TT, Compt. Oloyede was a Headquarters staff from the Information, Communication, Technology, ICT, and Modernisation Department.
The recent redeployment of some serving Area Controllers was said to have taken the Customs Comptroller back to the Customs Headquarters and to a new Department. This time around, he was said to have been moved to the T&T Department , to work with his Predecessor, acting DCG Musa, as the Department Import and Export Comptroller, meaning that he will still have much to do with the importers and Freight Forwarders operating at the nation’s seaports and Land border areas who have unsettled issues that needed Headquarters’ attention.
Many believe that with the latest redeployment of some serving Area Controllers, CG Adeniyi, may have started correcting the mistakes of his predecessor, Hammeed Ali, a retired Army Colonel’s administration. The appointment of Compt. Nnnadi, a senior officer, from the south eastern geopolitical region and former Area Controller of Seme Command , where there are little or no economic activities due to the government policy banning the importation of foreign rice and vehicles through the land border into the country by former President Muhammadu Buhari on January 1, 2017 and which had remained in force till date and there appears to be no sign that it is going to be repealed by the incumbent President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state, soon.
Abdullahi Maiwada, a Chief Superintendent of Customs, and the Service spokesperson, had listed other Area Controllers that were affected in the recent minor redeployment exercise. They are Timi Bomodi, a former Area Controller, Kikiri Lighter Teminal, KLT, which has phases I&II.
Compt. Bomodi was said to have been redeployed to Seme Command to replace Compt. Nnadi, who has been redeployed to Tin can Island Command, Compt. Babandede Mohammed, who was from Lilypond Export Command was redeployed to Lagos Free Trade Zone, LFTZ, described as a home of heavy industries, mostly Chinese firms and the Dangote yet to commence operations 600,000b/d refinery.
Also on the list of the redeployed Area Comptrollers were Compt. Dauda Ibrahim Chana from Investigation at the Customs Headquarters to Kano/Jigawa Command, a basically Excise Command, Martina Tlleygyado from the Non- Intrusive Inspection to KLT Area Command to replace Bomodi, who has been moved to Seme Command. Even Compt. Zanna Chiroma, the eighth person on the list of the affected Comptrollers redeployed will be leaving the Import &Export Seat at the T&T, Customs Headquarters for his successor Compt. Adekunle for PCA.
A senior Customs officer who spoke to The Value News on condition of anonymity had said that with the redeployment of the eight Comptrollers, who are mostly Area Controllers, more will be deployed soon.
While fear has gripped the other Area Comptrollers, particular, those holding strategic positions at the Headquarters and Area Command Level who were not affected that their days are numbered, the Customs acting Comptroller General in response to the statutory retirement of some members of the Management team was said to have appointed Comptrollers Florence Nanu Ogar – Modey and Queen Ogbudu as acting ACGs to replace the two who were said to have retired from the service from their respective zines. CG Adeniyi reportedly had said that ’’the promotions and redeployment of some of the Area Controllers and Comptrollers at the Customs Headquarters was carried out ‘’. to ensure operational efficiency’’.
Acting ACG Ogar Modey was said to have been moved to Training and Doctrine Command , TRADOC, while Ogbudu, heads to FOU, Zone B, Kaduna , as the Zonal Coordinator. Earlier, ACG. Bello Mohammed Jibo, who incidentally was a former Comptroller of Seme Command ACG. Customs Headquarters, during Ali’s era and the first two months of Adeniyi’s Administration has been redeployed to Customs, Zone A, Lagos, the nation’s commercial never centre as the Zonal Coordinator .
Appealing to the newly promoted acting ACGs and redeployed Area Comptrollers and others who were to ensure they leave up to expectation, the Customs acting Comptroller General, was said to have charged them ‘’to put more effort into achieving the service core mandates of revenue generation, Suppression of smuggling and Trade Facilitation’’.