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The Eagle Has Landed

John Johnson
If there was any Customs deployment that received unanimous and overwhelming endorsement of stakeholders, it was that of Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta.
The “revenue mobiliser” made a triumphant entry into the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service in February, 2021 as its new Area Controller.
The deployment of Malanta to the command was as unique as it was coincidental.
As a crack system man with solid ICT background, Malanta had few years ago at the same command, awed both his employers and stakeholders with his high capacity for revenue mobilisation and ingenuous knack for plugging revenue leakages.
As an ASYCUDA  Project Manager(APM) at Apapa at that time, Malanta during this period, deployed his enormous knowledge of information technology to achieve twin purposes of plugging revenue leakages and revenue mobilisation.
During this period, the revenue profile of the command grew exponentially.
A dedicated and conscientious officer, Malanta was the invisible hands behind the record revenue hauls made by Apapa during his hay day as APM.
Despite his workaholic nature, Malanta also has a likeable visage which make him very accommodating and generally loved by officers and stakeholders in Apapa Command.
So it was like home coming for the likable officer when he was deployed to Apapa Command as its Area Controller.
Little wonder that he got an heroic reception from both the officers and stakeholders when he berthed at his old home as the landlord.
Like someone who knows Apapa Command like the back of  his hand, it took the ICT Scion little or no time before he hit the ground running.
Barely three weeks into his tenure as the Area Controller, Malanta has shown the stuff he is made of when the Command made a huge tramadol seizure.
Seizures of tramadol are not alien to the command as his predecessor made similar gigantic interception of the banned substance few years ago.
But what made the seizure recorded by Malanta unique under three weeks of his stewardship was the manner he deployed intelligence to track down the illicit drug.
Using forensic techniques which he called forensic manifest management system, he was able to profile countries of origin into different risk categories to determine the propensity of each of these countries for illicit trade.
He gave a graphic description of how he tracked and intercepted the banned sustain ace, among other seizures worth about N223million.
“The intercepted container with NO. SEGU 1793504 was falsely declared as ceramic tiles.

“Upon 100% physical examination, 1000 cartons of ceramic tiles were loaded in front while 554 cartons of 120mg of Tramadol capsules were concealed at the back of the container and such consignments usually come from one port to another.

“If you look at the bill of lading, you’ll realize the container is coming from India then to Lome before arriving at Lagos port”

“Acting on manifest management system, we were able to track and intercept a container No. 1793504 manifested as ceramic tiles. Upon 100% physical examination to ascertain its true contents, it was found to contain 554 cartons of Tramadol capsules (120mg) concealed with 1000 cartons of ceramic tiles”.
He has also used this method to detect some  infractions within the short period he assumed office, stating that nine and six  containers were respectively detected to have infractions within his first and second week in office.
“Barely three weeks after I resumed duty, I came in with strong determination, zeal and commitment to ensure that the confidence and trust bestowed on me by the CGC is upheld not abused. In line with that, the command’s anti-smuggling architecture has been redesigned to suppress smuggling to the barest minimum.”
In as much as Malanta has a likable personality which made his a toast of most stakeholders, he nevertheless broods no tolerance for non- complaint importers and their agents.
He warned non- complaint traders and clearing agents to steer clear of Apapa command as he is no friend to such people.
He however assured members of the business community that the command will increase sensitization, enlightenment and robust stakeholders’ engagement for seamless operations, with a view to educating the public on the harmful and destructive nature of these illegal importations.

He  further reiterated that the Command under his watch will not tolerate  unlawful behavior from any importer or declarant.

The Comptroller noted that he came to the Command to modify some of its operational  architecture to make it perform better, and be more productive and to boost its contribution to the national economy.

In as much as he wanted to be friendly and accommodating, Malanta vowed such attitude will not however made him to compromise his determination to boost the revenue generation of the command through ICT- driven detection of infractions and  plugging of revenue leakages.

 “The only way such insincere importers and freight forwarders can survive in the Command is to make true declarations in terms of classification of the goods, and its value, while ensuring that the content of the container is in consonance with what is in the Single Goods Declaration (SGD) as well as pay the appropriate duty on such goods”.

He said in order to reinvigorate the revenue machinery of the command for effective and efficient service delivery, he and his management team have put in place  fresh measures to improve on the operations of the Command.

He therefore advised the trading public using the command to be compliant to all the extant rules on goods importation and clearance procedures if they hope to survive the clinical efficient capacity for detection of any infraction by the ICT Czar in town.
For the unrepentant non-conformist to the rules of the game, they had better steer clear of Apapa command because the new sheriff is in town.
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Hameed Ali, Customs boss, in last minute  frenzied promotion, reshuffle of officers 

CGC, Ali
The Eyewitness reporter
In what appears to be his last major assignment before his second-term tenure as the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service winds down on May 29th, 2023, Hammed Ali, the Customs boss, has undertaken a comprehensive restructuring of the service through mass promotion, a reshuffle of the management team and rejigging of the area Controllers.
Col.(rtd) Ali kickstarted the massive exercise with a promotion galore of officers when on January 5th, 2023, three ACGs were appointed and 1490 officers were promoted to their next ranks by the Customs board upon his recommendation.
Not done yet with what stakeholders described as his parting gift to officers, a week later, the CGC announced the reshuffle of the management team of the service by infusing some newly promoted ACGs into the team while swapping the positions of some old members.
The icing on the cake was when he reshuffled the Area Controllers by rewarding some newly promoted Controllers with juicy Area commands while swapping the positions of the old ones.
The latest exercise, announced Saturday, January 21st, 2023, was the new disposition at the command structure of the service.
In the new posting, Comptroller Timi Bomodi, who was until now, the National Public Relations Officer of the Service and newly promoted to the Comptroller cadre, was posted to head the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) in Lagos, while  Comptroller Dera Nnadi, who had just concluded his management course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, near Jos, was posted to Seme Area Command as its Area Controller.
Nnadi had a short stint at Ogun Command, Idiroko, as its Area Controller before he left for NIPSS.

In the new posting, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed was moved from Port Harcourt Area 2 command to head Apapa Command vacated by the revenue czar in the service, ACG Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf.

Others include Compt OA Salefu who now heads Western Marine Command Lagos, Compt AM Ibrahim heads PTML Terminal Lagos and Compt M.S Yusuf superintendents over the Muritala Muhammed Airport command in Lagos.

Compt CD Wada goes to Port Harcourt Area1 command as its Area Controller, while M.I Jalo heads Federal Operations Unit Zone B  while B . Mohammed heads Lillypond command in Lagos.

The promotions and reshuffle of officers have however elicited mixed reactions among the Customs officers.

For those who benefited from the parting gift of Hammed Ali, it was a welcome development, but for those who hold the short end of the stick in the exercise, it left a sour taste in their mouth.

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ACG Yusuf allays fears of possible revenue dip in Apapa Customs


— as he resumes in Abuja as ACG, ICT/modernisation
The Eyewitness reporter
The outgoing Area Controller of the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, the newly promoted Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf, has expressed optimism about the capability of his successor at the Apapa command to surpass his record-breaking revenue generation.
Following his elevation and eventual deployment to head the ICT/ modernisation project of the service at the headquarters, stakeholders have expressed fears over what will become the revenue trajectory of the Apapa Customs command which Malanta has raised to an unprecedented height.
In 2022, the Apapa command grossed a dizzying figure of N1. 022 trillion under the leadership of Malanta, the revenue Czar of the customs.
He also promised to surpass the feat, which is unprecedented in the history of the service, by marshaling the command to realise a projected sum of N 1. 5 trillion in 2023.
“Now that he (ACG Yusuf) has been called for higher duty at Abuja, can his successor match his towering credentials in revenue generation?
“Won’t his shoes be too big for the fellow who takes over from him” an agitated stakeholder muttered.
But the new ACG calmly said, “he (his successor) would do better than I did”
Stakeholders said it remains to be seen how the successor to the man who won the Revenue mobiliser of the year award last year from the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) for his exemplary leadership and soar-away revenue performance in the Apapa Customs command, will match his oversized shoes.
“Taking over from Malanta would present a big challenge for whoever succeeds him because of the record in revenue performance which has been set by the new ACG.
“The least he (Malanta’s successor) could do is to sustain the tempo, even if he can’t surpass it as this would be the yardstick that would be used to measure his performance.
“It’s a real burden,” another source said of the person who will take over from the revenue marshal.
It could be recalled that Malanta was among the newly deployed senior officers to the management cadre in the service following his promotion to the ACG.
In a statement signed by Comptroller Timi Bomodi, the National Public Relations Officer of the service, the new disposition followed the statutory retirement of some members of the management team of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Consequent upon this, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col.(rtd) Hameed Ali, approved the appointment and redeployment of the management members to enhance strategic and effective service delivery.

A breakdown of the appointment is as follows; EI Edorhe DCG Finance, Admin & Technical Service; HK Gummi DCG Tariff and Trade; M Abba-Kura Ag. DCG Enforcement, Inspection & Investigation; AG Saidu Ag. DCG Human Resource Development; JP Ajoku Ag. DCG Excise, Free Trade Zone & Industrial Incentives; BA Adeniyi Ag. DCG Strategic Research and Policy and GA Itotoh Ag. DCG Training and Doctrine Command.

Others are: O Peters Ag. ACG/Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘D’; AI Alfa Ag. ACG Strategic Research and Policy; HJ Swomen Ag. ACG Excise, Free Trade Zone & Industrial Incentives; KC Egwuh Ag. ACG Training and Doctrine Command; MBA Musa Ag. ACG Tariff and Trade; A Dappa-Williams Ag. ACG Enforcement Inspection & Investigation and BM Jibo Ag. ACG Headquarters.

Also appointed are: A Hamisu Ag. ACG/Commandant Nigeria Customs Command & Staff College; Y Salihu Ag. ACG Finance & Admin; MI Yusuf Ag. ACG ICT/Modernization; SA Bomai Ag. ACG Board; CK Niagwan Ag. ACG Finance, Admin & Technical Services and KI Adeola Ag. ACG Training and Doctrine Command.

While thanking the retired members of the management for their meritorious service and support, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) CFR congratulated the newly appointed officers and charged them to redouble their efforts in ensuring the Service achieves greater heights in its mandates of revenue generation, suppression of smuggling and trade facilitation.

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What we did differently to achieve N1trillion naira revenue in 2022–Compt. Yusuf


The Eyewitness reporter
The Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service has broken the revenue record of the service when it realised the sum of N1.022 trillion naira revenue in 2022.
The amount, which is unprecedented in the history of customs, is about half of the total amount realised by the entire service in 2022 which was put at N2.6 trillion Naira.
Addressing the press Thursday, the Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Ibrahim Malanta Yusuf, disclosed that the amount was 16.07 percent higher than the N870.388 billion collected in 2021.
Comptroller Yusuf said the command was able to achieve the feat through the resilience of men and officers in blocking revenue leakages and ensuring that all unpaid declarations and unutilized PAARs were traced and accounted to the federal government coffers.
He also attributed this laudable achievement to the creation of an enabling environment for officers which triggered motivation and productivity.
“There was a change in the environment which was made conducive and this brings motivation of staff which in turns brings productivity” the Customs chief declared
 On export trade, the command also recorded a total of $68.5 million Free on Board(FOB) value with a naira equivalent of N28.2 billion of Non- oil commodities with a total tonnage of 6.4 million metric tonnes exported through Apapa port.
Agricultural products topped the list of exports that passed through the command.
Comptroller Yusuf further disclosed that the anti-smuggling efforts of the command yielded a bountiful harvest in the year under review with a total seizure of 157 containers with a duty paid value (DPV) of N14.4 billion.
This was higher than the seizures made in 2021 which were 102 containers with a DPV of N 31.8 billion.
Fake and prohibited drugs without the necessary NAFDAC certification and overdose drugs of Tramadol top the list of seizures.
60 suspects were arrested in connection with some of these seizures and are in various stages of investigations and prosecution by relevant government agencies.
Comptroller Yusuf lauded the cooperation and collaboration with other agencies of government which he said contributed immensely to the successes recorded by the command.
He also expressed appreciation to the stakeholders for their support to the command, especially their financial support towards the renovation of a befitting ultra-modern conference room at the command.
Subsequently, the commands awarded certificates of appreciation to the deserving stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the command decorated the 37 men and officers of the command who were promoted to their next ranks.
Among them are four Comptrollers, 10 Deputy Comptrollers, six Assistant Controllers, eight Chief Superintendents of Customs (CSC), five Superintendents of Customs(SC)  and four Deputy Superintendents of Customs.
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