COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF CUSTOMS, DIKKO INDE ABDULLAHI, OFR MARKS 2 YEARS IN OFFICE
TEXT OF AN ADDRESS BY THE COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF CUSTOMS, DIKKO INDE ABDULLAHI, OFR DURING A MEDIA INTERACTION AT CUSTOMS HEADQUARTERS ON THURSDAY 18TH AUGUST 2011
With gratitude to Almighty Allah, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Customs House for this media interaction. We give thanks and praises to God for giving me the opportunity to provide leadership for the Service in the last two years. While I feel humbled by this sacred responsibility, I also wish to use this medium to share with you, some of our achievements, challenges and aspirations for the immediate years ahead.
The Six Point Agenda of Action provided the guiding roadmap for improving and repositioning of the Service, since August 2009.
Its key components include:
– Capacity – building
– Introduction of measures to improve the welfare of all Officers and Men who implement the reforms in the Service
– Modernisation of Customs procedure through Automation of all our processes
– Moral Rebirth
– Improved stakeholder relations, and
– Coordinated Public Relations Programme
After two years in Office, it is gratifying to note the giant strides we have made in the implementation of our Agenda, some of which are already captured in the Performance Scorecard. Permit me to highlight some of them:
We adopted a revenue enhancement strategy which includes identifying and blocking revenue leakages in our system, setting up of Special Duty Investigation Teams, the establishment of a System Alert Unit in Headquarters for closer monitoring and the automation of all Customs Procedures from manifest submission to cargo release. This resulted into the collection of total revenue of ₦662.15 Billion into the Federation Account, and ₦475.46 Billion into the Non-Federation Account from August 2009 to date. This makes a total of over ₦1.14 Trillion into both accounts in two years.
2. MOTIVATION OF THE WORKFORCE
In our analysis of all previous reforms in the Service, it was observed that the motivation and welfare of the workforce has been a serious missing link. Measures to address this vital element include:
– Implementing 100% increase in the salaries of Officers
– Massive Capacity-building programme to develop Professional competence and self-confidence of the Officers. A total of 12,510 benefited from various local and overseas training programme.
– Provision of new Barracks, including the new 120 Duplex blocks in Kuje, Commissioned by Mr. President in March, this year, and
– House ownership scheme, through owner-occupier system.
3. RECOGNITION IN THE GLOBAL CUSTOMS COMMUNITY
Our efforts in modernization of Customs got the attention of the Global Customs Community through:
– Election of Nigeria as the World Customs Organisation Vice-Chair, and member of its Policy Commission.
– Designation of the Customs Staff College as a WCO Regional Training Centre for West and Central Africa Region,
– Invitation by WCO to deliever Conference papers on Strategies for Wining Political Support, and Integrity
– Growing number of requests for collaboration from Customs Administrations of the United States, Argentina, South-Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, South-Africa to mention a few.
With these catalogue of successes, the temptation to roll out the drums and celebrate is human. However, we are rather focusing our attention on consolidating these gains in the immediate years ahead.
As you may be aware, the contracts for operating Destination Inspection will expire by the end 2012. To effectively manage the Service after the contract, a Customs Modernization Project Team has been established. This Team is working on how to manage the transition and eventual full take-over of the DI components. By the grace of God, the details of the Project will be made public after the necessary approvals.
I must register the gratitude of the Service for the support we have received so far from Mr. President, who have graciously approved Special Intervention Funds for our activities.
I am equally looking forward to working with the new chairman of the Nigeria Customs Service Board, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was sworn-in just yesterday. It is remarkable to note that majority of us in the Management Team are products of a Reform she carried-out in 2004 as Minister of Finance. I believe most sincerely that her wealth of experience and track record of achievements will enrich the quality of leadership of the Nigeria Customs Service Board.
I thank you all for coming. I wish our Muslim Brothers and Sisters Ramadan Kareem.
God Bless the Nigeria Customs Service
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
From: The Public Relations Unit
Nigeria Customs Service
Thursday 18th August, 2011