Newly Promoted Custom Officers Given Fresh Tasks, Assume Duties

Hyacinth Chinweuba

The Tin-Can Island Ports Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Area Controller, Comptroller Musa Baba has challenged the newly promoted officers of his Command to be more proactive in the course of their official duties.

He stated this recently while decorating promoted Officers and Men of his Command.

According to the Comptroller, a total of 175 Senior Officers has been promoted, 5 Comptrollers, 7 Deputy Comptrollers, 14 Assistant Comptrollers, 11 Chief Superintendents of Customs, 35 Superintendents of Customs, 63 Deputy Superintendents of Customs, 33 Assistant Superintendents of Custom I and 7 Assistant Superintendents of Custom II, making it a total of One Hundred and Seventy Five (175) Senior Officers. The promotion is performance based.

He reminded that that promotion is a privilege and not a right which comes from God.

The Area Controller who congratulated the officers on their various ranks reminded them that the Service is consistent with it’s call for professionalism, due diligence, accountability and transparency in approach to official responsibilities.

He however, stated that the Service appreciates the role played in it’s success story, hence the promotion. “Your promotion therefore requires constant work and rededication to improve on your services to the service” Musa added.

Speaking after the decorations, the newly promoted Public Relations Officer of the Command, Chief Superintendent of Customs (CSC) Uche Ejesieme expressed delight to be among those promoted and assured the Customs Management Team that the newly promoted Officers of his Command would continue to deliver on their mandates in their new assignments.

According to him “We are simply very excited, we are happy, we feel elated because Customs Service has actually transformed to a level where meritocracy has become the order of the day”

“In saying this, I pay a very great tribute to the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), and his able Lieutenants, for making this day possible”

“We are happy. You could see the excitement written on the faces of all the officers that were decorated today. We are happy, and we appreciate the kind gesture of the Service”

Ejesieme further stated that his Area Controller, Comptroller Musa has charged Officers to increase their level of performance in terms of diligence, transparency, accountability, and most importantly, key into the changed mantra of the CGC and also imbibe the 3-Rs, which is Restructure, Reform and Raise Revenue.

CSC Ejesieme hinted that the Public Relations Unit of the Service has the best Officers, who are very passionate about what they are doing, propagating the image of the Service, adding “It is not surprising that the Head of the Unit, the newly Promoted Comptroller Joseph Attah is somebody that had actually paid his dues, he is a quintessential officer, highly cerebral, and we are not surprised that he was promoted alongside other officers in the PR Unit.”

He stated that many officers of the Command are now happy because the Service under Col Hameed Ali (Rtd) has transmuted from a point where professionalism and meritocracy is order of the day.

“If you look at the history of promotions since the CGC came onboard, there has been a paradigm shift from the way promotions used to be.

“It is pertinent to mention that the Tin-Can Island Ports Command for the past three years consecutively have been able to clinch the WCO Award for excellence service to the International Customs Community (ICC) in terms of transparency, accountability and facilitation of trade,

“Beyond this, among the 200 countries of World Customs Organization (WCO), Nigeria Customs Service was adjudged part of the 14 that have been seen to align with the Kyoto Convention for simplification of customs processes and procedures,

We are happy that the officers have paid their dues and would continue to pay their dues” he added.

In the same vein, he stated that the Service has enthroned transparency and accountability in the way they do things. “Prior to this time provisions of this nature was from what could be called favoritism, but now it has become an issue of meritocracy. We are happy and we give kudos to the CGC, and his Management Team.

In her remarks, one of the newly Promoted Comptrollers, Comptroller C. E. Ayo, eulogized the Tin-Can Island Ports Command Controller, Comptroller Musa Baba.

She said, “Comptroller M.B.A. Musa, whom I have known for the past thirty years, Nobody will tell anyone that the young man you are seeing today won’t go places. He stood out right from the training school. He is a man of few words. Whatever comes out of his mouth must be paid adequate attention and scribbled, as they always come to pass”

“Sir, when you rolled out the number of people that were promoted in your command, I was not surprised, but I was close to tears because for this number of officers to be promoted in your command proves that you have made this area conducive for people to thrive”

You have tolerated us so much, even in good and bad times, at least, I have spent almost two years in this Command, and I have been noticing (his work ethics). He pays attention to the sick, he lauds and celebrates us as at when due, but he should not be taken for granted.

“I want to tell you, that we appreciate you Sir. Quoting  Lt. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo as he then was, in is famous address at Jaji in 1975, “That a man giving happiness exclusively to himself will die a frustrated Man. But a Man giving happiness to himself and to the generality of others will remain a happy Man, because it shall be contradictory and absurd to be unhappy in a happy environment”

“We will soon be leaving you, and I will leave with mixed feelings. Should I have a choice to pick another boss again, should God create me to be a Customs officer, even though we are so much hated, I will still choose Controller Musa,

“Equally going with these feelings, and as a lawyer, Lord Denin in his wisdom; a Law Lord, who lived 100 days and 100 years on earth, claimed in one of his brilliant quotations that “when the ghosts of the past are standing in the path of justice, clanking their medieval chains; the right thing for a good judge to do, is to pass through them undeterred.” Ayo concluded.

The area Controller further urged the promoted officers to be prepare for additional responsibilities “May I therefore implore you to recognize the fact that promotion comes with additional responsibilities but I have no doubt in my mind that you will all have the capacity and the wherewithal to justify the confidence reposed in you by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the Management Team.

“You will be paying particular attention to the core vision and mission of the service, particularly the three R’s which is Restructure, Reform and Raise Revenue as well as increase your preparedness to key into the change mantra of the Customs Management,

“A conmon adage which has become a cliche says that ”To whom much is given, much is expected” and it is on this premise that I will end this address, convinced you will not let down your guards in your commitment to Service delivery.” Controller Musa said.

Leading the pack of newly promoted officers from rank of Deputy Comptrollers to the rank of Comptrollers include; Comptroller Caroline Ebun Ayo who headed the Vehicle Seat at TICT Terminal, Comptroller Yisa Dorothy Omogbehin from the Ports and Cargo Terminal Vehicle Seat, Comptroller Adegbite formerly heading the Post Clearance Audit (PCA) Unit and Comptroller Abubakar Mohammed Adamu the popular anti-smuggling czar.

Other outstanding officers among the pack of newly promoted Assistant Comptrollers to Deputy Comptrollers are; Deputy Comptroller Balogun Adedokun Wasiu from the Command’s Valuation Unit, and Deputy Comptroller Usman Abdul Rasaq who headed the Car Park ‘C’.

X-raying the professional records of the newly promoted officers and their contributions to the Nigeria Customs Service under the leadership of Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd).

Nigeria too Big To be Secured

The World Bank overview of Nigeria state that over 20,000 people were killed, about 2.2 million are forcibly displaced, and more than 15 million have been affected since 2009. On September 27th, 2021, the Nigeria prominent newspaper, the Guardian reported that 330,000 Nigerian refugees are languishing in neighboring countries due to insurgency and armed banditry in the North East and North West.
For a decade, Africa’s largest oil and gas producer has faced security challenges on numerous fronts, from criminality and armed militancy to jihadism, sectarian violence, and political unrest. More or less, every part of the country has been affected by the recurring violence and crime, triggering a massive humanitarian crisis and threatening the country’s stability.
Based on the International Crisis Group’s report, the drivers of displacement in Nigeria are multi-faceted, complex, and often overlapping. This report analyzes the drivers of insecurity and population displacement into three categories: state, jihadist, and sectarian actors.
The state actors are the number one responsible for the insecurity issue in Nigeria due to its ineffectiveness and the use of disproportionate force on civilians in gross violations of human rights. Amnesty International has accused the Nigeria Security Forces of operating not different from the terrorists, using excessive force, physical abuse, secrets detentions, extortion, and burning of houses. This year, Amnesty International documented at least 115 people killed by the Security Forces between March and June 2021.
For over a decade, the North-eastern region of Nigeria has been devastated by insecurity, as the Jihadists continue to terrorize the region with military-style offensive, suicide bombings and kidnappings. According to Global Security Tracker, nearly 350,000 people killed in northeast Nigeria since 2009. The Human Rights Watch group recently stated that the Islamist insurgents killed at least 363 civilians between January and September this year.
Boko Haram is the notorious organization in the Northeast region of Nigeria, taking advantage of the region’s poverty and other security challenges to expend. The Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) is another jihadist group responsible for tormenting the rural population and fueling Islamic extremist ideologies in northeast Nigeria.
Comparing the data produced by Nigeria Security Tracker, a Council on Foreign Relation’s Africa program, death by the Sectarian actors is rising in Nigeria, from 630 deaths in 2020 to 810 loss of life as of September 2021. Competition over scarce resources, land disputes, ethnic differences, criminality, militancy, and settler-indigene tensions are the factors raising the number of deaths by the sectarian actors.

Based on Africa Security Brief, a publication of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, since 2010, over 15,000 have been killed in clashes over limited resources between herders and farmers in the Northwestern, Middle Belt, and recently the Southern States. At the same time, kidnapping has become a lucrative business in some parts of the country. Aljazeera reported that violent attacks by the assailants known locally as bandits are common across the Northwest and Central parts of Nigeria, especially in remote communities with no adequate security presence. These criminals raid villages, kidnap civilians and schoolchildren from their classrooms and burn houses almost daily.
Is Nigeria too big to secure?
A 2018 nationwide poll indicated that 65 percent of Nigeria feel the country is not secure, stated by the Chatham House in 2019. Today, the majority of Nigeria feels the same as the scale of the insecurity is threatening every fabric of Nigeria society. However, the issue is not the size or the number of people to care off; instead, the government’s inadequacy in responding to the security concern of its citizens. Many International organizations assessed the Nigeria security concern not in terms of too big to secure, but the inaction and ineffective government policies, comprising corruption, poverty, inequality, higher level of youth unemployment, and lack of economic opportunity in rural areas. Culled from Organisation For World Peace (OWP)

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