The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali(Rtd) has declared that the service lacks the required capacity to effectively police Nigeria’s massive borders which he agreed are porous.
Ali, while speaking yesterday at a security meeting convened by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan with the para-military agencies in the country, revealed that the customs lack the necessary surveillance equipment to carry out an effective patrol of the borders.
The Customs High Chief also lamented the lack of government presence at these border communities which usually made the residents of such communities hostile to Customs personnel by not giving them the necessary cooperation and assistance.
“Let me say here generally speaking, that we have a porous border. You also know we do not have all those equipments you have made mention of in ensuring the surveillance of our borders.
“And one more critical thing is that, within our border communities, there is no presence of governance. Our border communities completely lack the presence of governance.
“Therefore, those of us who are shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring that we gatekeep, we find it difficult because the ordinary man in Seme border does not see the reason why he should be compliant, does not see the reason why he should work with the security in Nigeria to protect the border.
“This is simply because there is no presence of governance. In some areas, this border community cross to another country to get basic amenities,” Ali declared.
He however said that Customs is doing a lot in trying to ensure that the smuggling of petroleum products out of Nigeria was minimised to the barest minimum.
The Senate President had expressed grave concern at the high rate of smuggling of petroleum products across the borders and had called on the security agencies in the country to arrest the situation.
Other para-military agencies at the meeting include Commandant General, Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, representative of the Director-General of the State Security Service, San Gesto and representative of the Comptroller General of Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Ishaka Abdulmumini.
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Maiwada, Customs’ chief spokesman, receives diadem over his public relations prowess
The Eyewitness Reporter
The National Public Relations of the Nigeria Customs Service, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Aliyu Maiwada, has been honored with the prestigious ‘Spokesperson of the Year’ Award by Spokesperson’s Digest, a division of Image Merchant Public Relations.
The event, held in Abuja and attended by distinguished personalities, showcased Maiwada’s exceptional public relations contributions and unwavering commitment to the Nigeria Customs Service.
In an exclusive post-award speech, Maiwada shared insights into the driving forces behind his success.
“This accolade not only acknowledges my dedication but also inspires me to elevate my contributions further.
” My motivation comes from a deep passion for my work and the unwavering support of my dedicated team,” he stated emphatically.
Known for his dynamic leadership style, Maiwada attributed the success to the collaborative efforts of his staff.
He added, “Today’s recognition is a testament to the collective efforts of my team, serving as a motivating force to strive for excellence.”
Beyond the immediate team, Maiwada expressed gratitude for the motivational guidance he receives from the Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and his Management Team.
“He highlighted his belief in extracting the best from his work, adding, “I believe in getting the best out of my work, and this passion, combined with the support of my team and the guidance from my elders, has been the driving force behind my success.”
The National PRO, recognized not just for his professional acumen but also for his commitment to mentorship, urged organizers to continue appreciating the dedication and enthusiasm of media practitioners and agencies.
He emphasized the need to sustain a culture of recognition for those making significant contributions in their respective fields.
In his closing remarks, Maiwada extended heartfelt appreciation to the Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs Headquarters Adeogun Alajogun, who represented the CGC at the event for his unwavering support, acknowledging his pivotal role in his accomplishments as the direct supervisor of the Nigeria Customs Service Public Relations Unit.
The ceremony not only celebrated an individual’s achievement but also highlighted the collaborative spirit and dedication within the Nigeria Customs Service, reinforcing their commitment to excellence in public relations.
Customs promises to mitigate impact of increase in duty exchange rate through trade facilitation
The latest duty exchange rate has since been reflected on the Customs portal.
Before the latest increase, the exchange rate for customs duty in June was N420 per dollar before it was jerked up to N775 per dollar in July.
Shortly after that, it jumped to N778 per dollar before the latest increase to N951.941 per dollar.
However, the customs has explained that it would ensure that there is a minimum delay in the customs process in order to ensure customs agents take delivery of their cargo without incurring demurrage.
Explaining the position of the customs on the increase yesterday, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, the Tin Can Customs Area controller, said there was little the customs could do over the fiscal and monetary policies which he said are within the purview of the federal government while the customs merely implements them.
Nnadi, however, promised that the customs, especially his command, Tin Can Island Port, would try to optimise its service delivery by facilitating trade to minimize the anticipated delays and resultant demurrage in order to mitigate the effects of the sudden increase.
“We are all affected, including the customs officers, by the increase.
“There is no separate supermarket where they sell customs bread”
” We as Nigeria Customs officers, just like other Nigerians, woke up this morning( Yesterday, December 7th) to find out that the exchange rate, which is the yardstick for the collection of customs duty, has been jerked up.
” Before June/ July, it was 420 per dollar, by July, it jumped to N775 to dollars, shortly after, it jumped to N778 to a dollar and this morning (yesterday, December 7th), it was increased to N951.941per dollar.
” We understand the implication of this on trade, bearing in mind letters of credit have been opened, contracts have been signed, supplies have been made, and people have negotiated business transactions based on the previous exchange rate.
” And we recognize the import of this exchange rate on trade.
” We recognize what the Nigeria business community is going through but there is little we can do as customs service about the fiscal and monetary policies.
” Our role is to implement them, we do not make these policies and we align ourselves with government decisions.
” Every decision taken by government is for the collective interest of the nation and we expect that we must all abide by it.
” As Customs, what we can do to mitigate the impact of what the trading public is going to go through in the next few days because of the increase in the exchange rate is to optimise our service delivery where there are expected delays in customs process to make up for this sudden increase.
“We will try to facilitate trade so that whatever little money you would have paid on demurrage, you can now use it to make up for this sudden increase and that is what I can manage.
“We do this because if the agents go back to their importers and ask them to raise additional funds to augment the one they have paid because of the sudden increase, the importers may find it difficult to raise the money and there will be delay and the attendant demurrage.
” So what we can do as customs service, is to minimize these expected delays through facilitation of trade.
” The Nigeria Customs Service cannot manage the other aspect of price increase because that is the function of federal government directive” Comptroller Nnadi explained in a very comprehensive manner to exonerate the customs service from these sudden increases in the exchange rates.
He however believed that most of the trade activities in Nigeria are being heavily subsidized by the government which makes citizens of the neighbouring countries cross the borders to Nigeria to buy goods in Nigeria.
” But I am by no means justifying the incessant and sudden increments in tariff.
” But Nigerians must be patriotic enough to obey government policies when they are issued because every government policy is issued in the best interest of the people” the Customs chief sermonises.
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