THE SIX-POINT AGENDA OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE ABDULLAHI DIKKO INDE (OFR) AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR
The CGC’s first task in his six point Agenda which is focused on maximizing the potentials of the Service through capacity Building, was given serious recognition and importance. In this instance, a new Dept of Human Resources Development (HRD) was created and accordingly has actively encouraged training and re-training officers and men of the Service in order to restore and enhance professionalism and productivity.
Consequently, about 3100 senior and 2500 junior staff of the different departments of Nigeria Customs Service have been trained in various courses and workshops locally and internationally, as it relates to the job while many more are still undergoing trainings. These courses, trainings and workshops include Asycuda ++, Enforcement and Drugs, Tariff and Trade, Accounts and Audit, Medical Courses, Technical, General Office Administration and Human Resources. Recently, about 50 officers and men of the Provost Unit were trained on Security and its related matters at the Army School of Military Police and as a result, the Service was enlisted among the Schools membership on Security Enhancement programme.
A handful of the local and international courses, seminars, workshops, conferences, trainings and meetings attended by officers includes, to mention a few, as listed below:
(1)Workshop/Training on strengthening and positioning of staff of Accounts/Internal Audit of NCS held in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt in May – June 2010, with a total of two hundred and twenty two officers of level 08 and above as participants as follows:
(a) Abuja – Headquarters and FCT Command – 56 participants.
(b) Zone a – 137 participants
(c) Zones B and D – 36 participants
(d) Zone C – 43 participants
(2) Workshop on Trade Facilitation and Policy.
(3) Courses on the modernization of Asycuda and e-clearance procedures – Nigeria 2010.
(4) Risk Management Strategy and Customs Legislative Reform on new CEMA by USAID office Lagos/Abuja April, 2010.
(5) WCO counterfeiting and Piracy (CAP) group in Brussels October 2009
(6) Technical Committee on Rules of Origin (ROO) in Brussels Jan, 2010.
(7) Meeting of the Negotiating Group of Trade Facilitation (NGTF)at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva. February, 2010.
2. On the 2nd item of the CGC’s six point agenda which is Moral Rebirth for Discipline and integrity in the Service, in tandem with the Nations Current Re-branding Agenda, a significant awareness on behavioural reform is obviously on the increase since the inception of the CGC and his management Team. Officers now display high sense of responsibility and diligence. Punctuality and neatness have become impressive, respect and discipline among officers enforced. The uniform Code of the Provost Unit is now implemented with seriousness. Also, the administrative unnecessary bureaucracy is drastically reduced and official assignments and files treated with dispatch.
From the Discipline Unit, a total of 111 pending disciplinary cases of the previous years have been addressed and concluded. Also there is the introduction of CGC Task force on Anti smuggling activities, Rapid Response Squad and Anti Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU). The Customs Duty Investigation Team (CDI) since the inauguration recovered over 9 billion Revenue loss from importers.
3. Consequent to the CGC’s desire in ensuring enhanced Welfare package for officers and men of the Service which is the 3rd of his six point Agenda, he has successfully accomplished the following:
(1) About 100% increase in the salary and allowances of officers and men of the service from January 2010.
(2) Purchased operational and staff vehicles of various brands of Peugeot cars/buses and Hilux/Mitsubishu 4×4 vehicles.
(3) Purchased for officers residential, 120 Units of single 3 bedroom duplex houses with I bedroom in built Boys quarters at Kuje – Abuja
(4) Purchased various Arms and Ammunitions for Anti-Smuggling operations.
(5) Purchased 20 Units Almarire/John Holt Ltd water Bus Boats for Marine operations.
(6) Purchased 4 Unit Armoured Vehicles.
(7) Increased progressively capital projects allotment/allocations in 2009 and 2010 to take care of more new constructions and rehabilitation of Customs barracks and offices nationwide. e.g Custom Staff College Gwagwalada.
(8) Directed and ensured prompt payment of officers transport allowances,, 28 days in lieu of hotel accommodation, DTA and other allowances.
(9) Promoted about 46 Deputy Comptrollers to the rank of Comptrollers, while the promotion of the rank of Assistant Comptrollers down the ranks is being awaited soon. Upgrading of officers who successfully completed their study leave programme is also on course.
(10) Effectively concluded the posting of about 1,399 senior officers and 4,912 junior officers to the various Area Commands, Units, Zonal offices and Headquarters of the Service.
(11) Inaugurated the Customs Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Board on 23rd April, 2010.
(12) Plans to establish Customs Primary and Secondary Schools in all Commands is near conclusion.
(13) Energized the inaugurated Customs Officers Wives Association (COWA)-women were empowered in the area of self reliance.
(14) Provided every office in the headquarters with internet connection Senior officers are provided with Lap-top computers to enhance their efficiency and keep them abreast with global experiences.
Uniform materials have been given to junior officers. There’s hardly an officer who is not well dressed both at Headquarters and at Area Commands.
4. The 4th of the CGC six point agenda which emphasized consolidating on the current e-Customs through Asycuda for International Best Practices was not left out. The CGC has tirelessly upgraded the Asycuda project in order to facilitate trade by ensuring that the following under listed were introduced, provided, practicalized and sustained for fast clearance of cargo:
(1) e – SGD (DTI Direct Trade Imput)
(2) e – Manifest
(3) e – Payment
(4) e – Notification to Government Control Agencies
(5) e – Government Platform for single window to stakeholders in
(6) ASYCUDA, warming up to immigrate from 3.0 to ASYCUDA World.
(7) e – Release
(8) e – Provision of Nigeria Customs Service National Private Telecom
5. Continued collaboration and partnering with stakeholders and international organizations is the 5th of the CGC’s six point agenda. This was actualized through the NCS constant participation, representation and of interaction with the WCO at conferences and seminars within Nigeria and abroad from which it acquired international best practices and procedures in Customs formalities and processes. e.g.
(1) Participation in the Nigeria Vision 20 / 2020.
(2) Partnering with ECOWAS for the implementation of regional protocol.
(3) Involved in the World Bank Trade and transport facilitation Project called Abuja -Lagos Trade and Transport project (ALTTFP).
(4) Organized Draft Risk Management Strategy which is now currently under study.
(5) A Time Release Study has currently been completed at Apapa Port and Seme border.
(6) International Customs Day Celebration was organized to promote Customs Business Partnership with stakeholders.
(7) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Development programme in Abuja March 2010.
6. The last of the CGC’s six point agenda which focuses on fostering mutual understanding between the Service and the general public through a well coordinated public relations activities was given first class attention.
The CGC maintained an open door policy with stakeholders with a listening session
approach all through his numerous tours to the Zones and commands. The existence of a laudable rapport between the NCS stakeholders and the Service Providers motivated Cotecna to renovate, refurbish and equip five classroom blocks at the NCS Primary School at the Kano Training College which was commissioned on the 17th June, 2010.
The Public Relations Unit has introduced the constant use of prints and electronic media to spotlight and create awareness on the activities and reforms of NCS. In addition to the coverage of meetings, conferences advertisements, interviews, sports events and Asycuda modernization Impact on the pages of newspapers and televisions, there is an AIT weekly programmes called “Customs Report” and also FRCN weekly Hausa Programme called “AIKIN Kastum”.
With the above and many more not mentioned coupled with those still in the pipeline, the CG’s 6 point agenda has so far remarkably given a face lift to the operations of Nigeria Customs Service.