Nigeria Customs Implements Changes after GuardPost’s Report

By Anamati Inyang

Jolted to action

In the wake of damning revelations regarding corruption within its ranks, the Nigerian Customs Service has taken action to address some of the allegations made against some of its top officers.  This comes barely a week after an investigative report by exposed a multi-billion naira corruption scandal implicating two of its zonal comptrollers.

The newspaper also uncovered how Comptroller General Bashir Adeniyi granted duty waivers on more than 500 luxury vehicles imported by the National Assembly. Simultaneously, it revealed the irregularity of assigning low-ranking officers to critical operational roles, a violation of service regulations and protocols.

In response to the exposé, the agency not only initiated disciplinary measures against errant some officers implicated in corruption scandal, but also made some strategic appointments and changes within the agency.

Wielding the big stick

In a on its verified Facebook page, the NCS said it is taking disciplinary measures against one of its personnel, Ibrahim Suleiman for alleged N500, 000 extortion.

Suleiman was said to have extorted from a car buyer, Muhammad Ahmed, along Mokwa-Jebba Road, Niger State on 22 February. According to the Facebook post, the Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, Dalha Chedi, handed over the accused officer to the Assistant Provost Marshal (APM) Customs Police Unit, Kaduna, on Monday.

The FOU comptroller said he had directed the agency’s Police Unit responsible for enforcing discipline in the service to carry out further interrogation of the suspected officer.

“This unprofessional and ungodly act will not be condoned. A thorough investigation has just commenced by this handing over to unravel the facts surrounding the allegation. The outcome shall be made public to serve as a deterrent to others,” he was quoted as saying.

“We are deeply concerned and assure the general public that the matter will be treated with the deserved vigour, decisiveness and transparency.”

Appointments and new assignments

The agency has also made appointment into two top management positions and deployed four other top officers as part of measures to strengthen its operations.

The National Public Relations Officer of the service, Abdullahi Maiwada, announced the changes on Friday in Abuja, quoting Comptroller General Adeniyi as saying that the new appointments were part of efforts to reinvigorate the service for efficient service delivery.

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 He said that the appointment of the two management staff, who were in acting capacity, and the deployment of the four others, were aimed at fortifying strategic operations and optimising service delivery across various departments.

“The newly appointed management members are poised to steer the NCS towards enhanced efficiency and effectiveness. Their diverse expertise and proven track records are expected to inject fresh momentum into critical areas such as revenue generation, anti-smuggling, and trade facilitation,” Adeniyi said.

He commended the appointees for their track record of duty, urged them to embrace their new roles with renewed commitment and emphasised the agency’s role in advancing national interest.

The comptroller general advised the appointees to uphold the highest standards of integrity, professionalism, and service delivery while reiterating the agency’s commitment to safeguarding the nation’s economic interests, fostering international trade, and ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks.

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The new appointees include: J.P. Ajoku, Deputy Comptroller General (DCG), Strategic Research and Policy; B.M. Jibo, Ag. DCG Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives; I.Q. Ogbudu, Assistant Comptroller General (ACG), Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives.

Others were I.O. Babalola, ACG/Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘B’; H.J. Women, ACG/Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘A’ and F.A. Abdulazeez, Ag. ACG/Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘D.’

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