Customs: Wale Adeniyi From Classroom To revenue Generation

By Stephen Ubanna

Not many people were surprised that Wale Adeniyi, a seasoned Public Relations Officer and former Deputy Commandant, Nigerian Customs  Staff and College, Gwagwalada, Abuja, the Federal Capital, Territory, FCT,  was appointed be   the Area Comptroller of  Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command,  MMIA, which was carved out of an  existing Murtala Muhammed Airport Command, MMA by the Customs Board..

It had long been speculated after he was  elevated to the enviable rank of Comptroller and deployment to the training College that his next  move would be to  Head  a Command  in order  to generate revenue  for the government. Many had expected Hammed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General to take him to one of the existing Commands  having being at the corridor of power for years in his Capacity as the Customs National Public Relations Officer, NPRO, which had exposed him to the workings of the Service both  as an  Administrator and general duty officer.

 Given that Ali, the Customs  Comptroller General  was not in a hurry to replace the  Area Comptrollers for now alleged to have performed  below average  in the last one year, particular those in Commands in the north west geo-political region, he may have  waited for an opportunity   to move him from the Classroom to  a Command where his  service would be effective utilised to further boost the revenue generation of the Service.

 Note that Ali, the retired Army Colonel and Customs boss, has a Presidential mandate to reform, rrestructure and improve the revenue generation of the Service. Jayne Shoboiki, Comptroller, MMA, may have given  an insight to Adeniyi’s journey  to becoming the Comptroller of the newly carved out MMIA  from her old Command. She disclosed that  at the 50th Board meeting of the Service held on May 21, 2019, where the decision for the unbundling decision of the establishment was approved which facilitated the establishment of eight additional Commands.  A senior Customs officer who spoke to the Value News disclosed that  with the approval for the  return of the Customs to  its former administrative arrangement before the reform that merged some  of the Commands to become one, vacancies were  created to  to deploy Comptrollers  to Head the Commands.

 The  Commands are MMIA, carved out from MMA, Idiroko which was   created out of Ogun Command, One Oil and Gas Terminal, split from the old Onne Lighter Terminal  and Kebbi, which was carved out from the Western Marine Command, the Customs Aphibious Unit. Four other Commands were also split including the Eastern Marine Command.

It was not not surprising that why Ali and his management team met to compile the list of the Comptrollers to be deployed to Head the New Commands, Adeniyi made the list. Shoboiki , the MMA, Comptroller may have spoken the mind of the Customs Comptroller General when she said that the additional Commands were created for ‘’administrative Convenience  and boost revenue generation of the Service.

Adeniyi may have known that it is no longer time to lecture the senior officers shortlisted for  one programme or the other in the school but to devise strategies to enhance the revenue generation of the Command.

  Until his deployment to Federal Unit, FOU, Zone C,  owerri, IMO state, Shuaibu Ahmad, an Assistant Comptroller, who was at  one time  in-charge of the MMAIA,  was said to have done  everything within his  powers  to sanitise  the International wing of the old Command that it could generate substantial revenue  competing with the SAHCOL AND nacho, the Cargo terminals of the Command in revenue generation. This  because Shuaibu was able to mobilise his officers to successfully block areas of revenue leakage at the Airport.

Given the strategies put in place at the  Airport to monitor the travellers who carry  heavy  luggage but would not want to pay duty, they were forced to fall in line. Insiders told The Value News that most of them willingly on their own position their luggage to be examined and the pay the duty slammed on them without argument.

Jayne Shoboiki: Handed over To Adeniyi the MMAIA Command

It was learnt that a former Senate President  who  dry cleans his clothing in the sprawling City of Dubai, who was not used to paying duty for his Ghana –must go bags of  cloth was forced to pay duty on such items. This is where Aniyi, the MMIA, Comptroller ,may have to look in-wards to ensure that  the Command collects the appropriate  revenue from the travellers instead of  allowing the officers met on ground to do work  without proper supervision  as most of them have made friends among the big time travellers that they could easily circumvent the  extant laws of Customs  to avoid running into trouble with Mohammed Aliyu, Comptroller, FOU, Zone A , Operations and Lagos Roving Team officers along the Airport road.

 Shoboiki, the MMA  Comptroller, would not forget  his experience in a hurry  in the hands of the  Command Operations and Lagos ROVING Team under the close watch of Riks Lura, a Chief Superintendent of Customs who had had intercepted a multi-million naira Hides and Skin, positioned for export before the information leaked.  

.  The MMIA Customs Customs boss may have known that it is not going to be an easy task, but he was said told the officers ‘’ we are going to do a lot of work and I am  sure we are all ready to work’’. Adeniyi who could not hide his feelings  had enjoined the officers that  it is noe  time to work as we have have to put our job first before any other consideration.

 This may have informed why  Shoboiki,  who was accompanied  Aliyu, Comptroller, FOU, Zone A,  to usher Adeniyi to his Command, to  beg the  agents  and travellers  including other stakeholders using the International Airport  to extend the same level  of  Cooperation  maintained with her in order to succeed in his new assignment. ‘I beg you to give him the same Cooperation  you have given me  to enable him succeed’’, she had remarked.

Appealing to the Airport users , particular the travellers and the agents , to improve their level of Compliance to government fiscal policies, noting that  this is the only way the  Customs could achieve   its aim of revenue generation and trade facilitation.

Putting on the garb of a Clergy ‘’, she prayed that  the same God  that saw her through  in the discharge of her duties at the old MMA,  ‘will ‘’surely help him to excel’’ Barely one week of taking over at the MMAIA, and setting up the necessary Administrative structures to run the Command, he has sent a signal to the stakeholders that stakeholders that it is no longer  going to be business as usual. He  was said to have told those who cares to listen that those who engage in genuine business at the Airport have no reason worry  about Customs harassment but those who indulge in Criminal activities.

Note that  Atiku Abubakar,  a retired Deputy Director of Customs and  Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and Musa Daura, now district Head of Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari  home town, who incidentally was Comptroller of FOU, Zone A, were  at one time or the other Comptroller of the Command before the subsequent  merger with MMA, in one of the Customs reforms embarked upon by the government..

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