President Umar Yar-adua has approved the appointment of a new Comptroller-General of Customs. He is Hamman Bello Ahmed, until his appointment, an Assistant Comptroller -General of Customs at the Abuja Headquarters of the Service.
The appointment of the new Customs helmsman followed the recent disengagement of the service of the former Customs Boss, Jacob Gyang Buba, after a stint of four years in Office. Buba was appointed Comptroller-General in March 2004, to head a new management, put in place by former President Obasanjo to restructure and reform the Customs. In a statement signed last week by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation [SGF], Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, Ahmed’s appointment takes effect from Tuesday 27th May 2008. Few hours after the statement was made public, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Shamsudeen Usman proceeded to decorate the new Comptroller-General with the new badges of rank, at a ceremony held at the Ministry’s Conference Room, Glass house, Abuja.
The Minister congratulated Ahmed on his appointment, and charged him to pursue the on-going Reform Programme with determination to succeed. The attainment of 48-Hour Clearance, he said, must be accorded priority as it represents a major plank of Government’s Policy. The new Comptroller-General promised to restore Professionalism in the Service, while ensuring Customs operatives strict adherence to the Rule of Law.
Hamman Bello Ahmed was born in Kojoli, Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa State. He had his early education in Jada Primary School from 1956-1963, and his Secondary School in Government Secondary School Ganye, 1965-1969. He proceeded to Government Secondary School, Bauchi in 1970 were he obtained WASC Advance Level. He immediately gained admission into Ahmadu Bello University Zaria to study History and Geography [French sub], and bagged B.A [comb] Hons in 1977. At the completion of his NYSC programme in 1978, the young Ahmed joined the Nigeria Customs Service as Superintendent Customs II now Assistant Superintendent I in 1978. He rose through the ranks, serving in different commands of the Service like Kano, Tin can Island, Valuation Unit and Customs headquarters.
He was promoted Assistant Comptroller- General of Customs in 2005, and posted to the Inspections and Inspectorate Unit, Customs Headquarters where he remained until 27th May 2008, when he was appointed Comptroller -General. His versatility in the Harmonised System, Customs Tariff and Classification has helped in blocking revenue leakages and recovery of lost revenue. In the process, he has won several National and International commendations and awards from Nigeria Customs Service and the World Customs Organisation.
Amongst his awards and commendations are-:
a. Service medal award for recovering of Customs Duty to the tune of about three hundred and sixty four million naira [₦364, 000,000.00] during the Annual Comptroller -General of Customs Conference held in Ibadan, Oyo State in 2002.
b. A certificate of commendation from the Honourable Minister of Finance.
c. A commendation letter from Societe Generale Du Surveillance [SGS] and Swede control/intertek [preshipment inspection companies]
d. A commendation from the World Customs Organisation on the interpretation and application of the Harmonized System [HS] Nomenclature [tariff].
e. A commendation letter from Comptroller – General Customs.
f. Certificate of attendance from the Regional Seminar on the Harmonized and Tariff Management Organized by the Customs Cooperation Councils.
g. Special commendation as Chairman of Special Ad-hoc Due Process Committee for Apapa Port 2005.
An unassuming but a thorough professional with a firm grip of the intriques of Customs administration , Hamman Bello Ahmed steps into the CGC’s office with a rich antecedent that fit the proverbial square peg in a square hole. Married with children, the Comptroller-General loves to travel and read.