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Finally, FG concessions operations of Customs to Chinese, Nigerian company for 20 years.


—-to generate $176 billion 
—- to quadruple monthly customs revenue of N225 billion 
Eyewitness reporter
Despite the outcry of stakeholders against the concession of the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Federal government, Monday signed a tripartite concession agreement with a Chinese company, Huawei Technologies, and their Nigerian counterparts, Trade Modernisation Project Limited with Africa Finance Corporation as the lead financiers.
The agreement was facilitated and midwifed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission(ICRC).
The concessionaires, under the agreement, will drive the modernisation project for 20 years.
The concessionaires are expected to invest the sum of $3.2 billion dollars with an estimated income of $176 billion generated for the Federal Government in 20 years.

The Acting Director-General of the ICRC, Mr. Michael Ohiani disclosed that the project was a presidential initiative on customs modernization that will attract an investment of over $3.2 billion.

“Having gone through all the PPP processes satisfactorily and obtained ICRC’s Full Business Case Compliance (FBC), the approval of the Federal Executive Council and the final vetting of the concession agreement by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the federation, the parties are today(Monday) ready to execute the agreement and commence implementation of the project.

“I urge the concessionaire to ensure the full implementation of the terms of the agreement credibly and in line in with global best practices,” he said.

The Comptroller General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali commended the ICRC for remaining steadfast in advancing the implementation of the project.

He allayed fears that the implementation of a modernized and computerized service will lead to job losses, stressing however that the NSC would rather require an additional 15,000 staff for optimal operation.

“Let me commend ICRC, but for their steadfastness and tenacity, we would not be here celebrating this project today.

“We are indeed grateful and your name is written in gold.

“We are happy to say that in Nigeria, we are going to be fully digitized and modernized. We are setting a pace for all other African countries to learn from.

“There are rumours that this project is going to weed off officers, let me allay those fears: we are even in need of officers.

” We have only about15,000 and by the mission of management, we need nothing less than 30,000 to effectively carry out the mandate,” he said.

Ali also hinted that the project was going to quadruple the Service’s monthly revenue.

“As of today, we are making a collection of over N210 billion to N225 billion per month. It is our hope that by the time we put trade modernization in place, we would triple this figure if not quadruple,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the NSC would soon invite President Muhamadu Buhari to flag off the project, calling for support from all stakeholders including staff of the Service, project partners and the media.

The representative of Huawei Technologies, Kevin Yang expressed the commitment of his organization to the success of the project, promising to ensure Nigeria benefits from the automation process.

 “I just want to express our commitment that we will make sure that all the deliverables to the facility and process automation and paperless customs are achieved” he declared.

The Representative of the AFC’s Chief Executive, Sumaila Zuberu on her part reiterated the commitment of the AFC to the project, pointing out that its success will be a reference point for the Customs Service in other African countries.

She expressed hope that the project will be quickly implemented, adding that the AFC was still very committed to providing the relevant finance required for the project.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Trade Modernisation Project Limited, the main concessionaire of the Customs modernisation project, Alhaji Saleh Ahmadu, reiterated the commitment of the company to the project.
“As the concession period begins, we wish to assure Nigerians that the revenue target of 176 billion dollars for the Federal Government will be achieved, if not surpassed.“More importantly, we are excited about the real economic benefits for the country, in terms of business growth for exporters and import-dependent businesses.

“Others are improved global supply chains, enhanced industrial capacity utilisation and creation of employment opportunities,’’ Ahmadu said.

While explaining that the project was driven by technology, Ahmadu said that there would be more efficiency in the business processes of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Similarly, Dr. Jummal Umar-Ajijola, the Managing Director, TMPL, said that the concession agreement for the Service Modernisation Project signaled the importance the Federal Government attached to the role of trade in national development.“Today,( Monday), Nigeria takes a giant leap to strengthen its readiness for global trade in the 22nd century.

“The rapidly changing human development needs and challenges of globalisation require an agile national response.

“This modernisation covers the entire operations of the customs service end-to-end, providing a value chain that creates an ecosystem that will facilitate trade not only in Nigeria but on the continent.

“For us at Trade Modernisation, we see that that 22nd century just dawned in Nigeria and the world has to follow us with this leap we have taken.

“We are going to bring an initial investment of 3.2 billion dollars into this project.

“The world customs organisation is excited about what this means because if you have the Nigerian market you have the African market and if you have the African market you have the global market.

“Africa is over 1.5 billion strength and that kind of number is what we are looking at trapping in terms of trade.

“It simply means that both the import and export processes would be made seamless, there would be accountability, leakages would be blocked and that means more revenue to the government,’’ she said.

Umar-Ajijola further said that the project would create more job opportunities, particularly for the youth.
“There would be a lot of opportunities and a lot of new professions would be created, young people would have jobs since they are the people who drive technology.

“This ecosystem would ensure job generation for the country which of course will lead to sustainable development,’’ she said

The concession agreement, which was consummated at the Abuja  Customs Headquarters Monday, was muted and crystallised in September 2020 when the Minister of Finance and National Planning,Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed announced the approval of the business deal by the Federal Executive Council.
This was despite the rejection of the project by the stakeholders who felt the concession of the modernisation project to third parties, especially the Chinese and their Nigerian collaborators, was tantamount to willing away Nigeria’s common patrimony to foreigners.
They had argued that with the right orientation and attitudinal change, the personnel of the service could drive any modernisation project of the service.
  Hon. Jerry Alagbaso, a former Customs chief who was a member of the House of Representatives in 2020 had then rallied the National Assembly against the move.
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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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