By Stephen Ubanna
Last Monday, July 27, 2020, was a very busy day at the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja. This is because Usman Yahaya, the Command acting Comptroller, Ahmadu Shuaibu, Bolakaya Adebayo and other senior officers in the Command had gathered in the Boardroom to decorate the newly promoted officers by the Nigerian Customs Board with their new ranks.
In carrying out the duties, Yahaya had advised the newly promoted officers that ‘’to whom much is given , much is expected of him’’. It was a big challenge to the officers who are expected to double their efforts in discharging their duties with their new ranks.
One of the officers that had benefited from the promotion exercise was Jack Okpabi, a former Chief Superintendent of Customs in – charge of Gbaji Check point and who at different times had been given special assignment outside the Gbaji axis to Ogun, Oyo and other flash point smuggling areas in the south west geopolitical region by the Area Comptroller. Jack was promoted to the enviable rank of an Assistant Comptroller. He was said to have been decorated by the Area Comptroller along side other officers who got the promotion.
Another senior officer whose promotion was really hailed because of his outstanding performance in managing the Image of the Command by ensuring that the Command never had any bad press since his deployment to the Command some three years ago from the Customs Headquarters was Jerry Attah.
Okpabi and Attah, were among the 2,634 senior Customs Officers that were approved for promotion by the Customs Board under the Chairmanship of Hajia Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, at the Board recent meeting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Note that Attah , who has served three different Comptrollers at FOU, Zone A, as the spokesperson, was promoted to the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Customs, DSC. The surprising it about his promotion was that this was his first time of writing the DSC, promotion examination and he was said to have passed with merit. There are many officers of the same rank who had written the promotion examination once or twice but could not scale through the hurdle.
This may have informed why Congratulatory messages have continued to be sent to him by friends and Associates. The joy in his face when he was decorated by the Command acting Comptroller with the support of Adebayo, a Deputy Comptroller speaks volume.
He is expected to carry his wealth of experience in Public Relations Management to FOU, Zone C where he has been deployed to in the recent deployment of the service public Relations Officers in the various Zones and Commands across the country including the Customs Headquarters. Many believe that his deployment to Zone C, is a big loss to FOU, Zone A.
Insiders told The Value News since it became a public knowledge that he is leaving for FOU, Zone C, to head, the Public Relations Unit, he has continued to appeal to close friends in the Media to relate with his successor the same way they had related with him over the last three years in the Command.
He expects the media to give adequate publicity to Yahaya, the Command acting Comptroller of the Command and not antagonise him. The Maritime Journalists were said to have taken his advise in good faith and assured him of Cooperating with his successor in order to succeed in the Command.