May 21, 2024

Customs: Olomu takes over as Apapa Customs Area Controller

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Customs: Olomu takes over as Apapa Customs Area Controller,

By Okezie Nnadi

The new helmsman of the Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Customs Command, Comptroller Babatunde Olomu has taken a tough stance against economic sabotuers ,as he warned that his administration would have zero tolerance for Smuggling,and other unwholesome acts that are inimical to the mandate of the command.
The new Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa,customs command gave this indication on Monday,6 May,2024 ,in his acceptance speech at the handing over ceremony at the command.
Comptroller Olomu who takes over from Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba,who bows out of the Service ,after 35 years of meritorious service to the NCS and father land, charged officers of the command to brace up for the challenges the customs modernization projects,otherwise called e- Customs might bring.

He assured that compliant traders would have seamless services,and pledged to implement to the later all the provisions of the new Nigeria Customs Act 2023, and the Common External Tariff (CET).
He said “I see my task as CAC Apapa command as a serious assignment from the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR dsm psc (+) of which our only option is to deliver diligently not only in revenue collection, fight against smuggling, but in trade facilitation and sustainable stakeholder engagement.

“My assumption of this office is with a mind of confidence that we won’t betray the trust reposed in us by the FGN, CGC and the entire management of the Nigeria Customs Service. This confidence is premised on the reality that I am taking over a very organized command, where I intend to build on the successes of my predecessor.

“Let me state unequivocally that we shall implement all the provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, the Common External Tariff, import and export prohibition guidelines, and other books of instruction as directed by the FGN.”

Olomu assured that while promoting a robust customs community relation system where there will be regular interface with all government and private sector stakeholders, “I shall upscale our enforcement with intelligence to ensure that only legitimate trade is allowed in Apapa Port and all the terminals within the command.” he said.

” Our tolerance level for smuggling of prohibited items, concealment, and declaration for duty evasion shall be zero and shall remain so.

“Our country holds a strategic position for trade in West and Central Africa and Apapa Port is critical in Nigeria’s participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). We are revving Nigeria’s readiness for improved trade with fellow African countries and the world at large.

 

“As you may be aware, the management of the service is committed to evolving a more modern customs with Apapa Port being a nucleus to the implementation of the many trade facilitation reforms championed by the Comptroller-General of Customs.

“I want to urge our officers to brace up for the changes that will feature as fallouts of customs modernization, otherwise called e-customs, AEO, and many other groundbreaking World Customs Organization innovations like the recently introduced advanced ruling policy.

“This will enable them to enjoy more gains of trading across borders in the global supply chain in line with the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), the WCO Supply Chain Management Guidelines, and the various national best practices.

“As a working principle, I hereby advise all our officers to treat all official matters with the speed they deserve leaving no file unattended to as such delays could mean slowing down government revenue inflow.

“I shall emplace a trade dispute resolution seat that will operate every day including weekends to ensure that we make this command a true front liner in global best practices in terms of customs operation for other customs formations to emulate.

“Being the customs command handling the largest volume of trade in Nigeria, Apapa Command under my leadership won’t be complacent and will be open to continuous engagement with everyone. My doors are open for advice on how best to achieve our mandate because we are all here to add value and do better for Nigeria.” Comptroller Olomu said.
Earlier in his farewell speech,the out going Area controller Apapa Customs command, Comptroller Jaiyeoba thanked the Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi,for counting him

worthy to steer customs affairs at Nigeria’s flagship customs command domiciled at the busiest port in West and Central Africa.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba whose 8 months in the saddle as CAC Apapa Command officially came to a glorious end on 6 May ,2024,Said, “it gives me great joy to recall the very suspense filled and exciting moments of goals achieved day by day, week by week and month by month culminating into tangible results for the benefit of our great country and her economy.

Comptroller Jaiyeoba noted that the huge successes he recorded within a short period of 8 months were as a result of the support and cooperation of his officers ,and men on ground , stressing that all he achieved during his time at the command was a product of team work,both from stakeholders and sister agencies
Giving record of his stewardship, Comptroller Jaiyeoba noted, “that in the month of April 2024 alone, the command generated N182 billion which is a record-breaking monthly collection in the history of the service.
“Between January and April 2024, the Apapa Command of NCS collected a total of N672,172,624,033.03 as revenue for the federal government. We have set the ball rolling for the actualization of our target and the officers I am leaving behind are focused on this. My optimism is not misplaced because we have all proven to be tested and trusted

‘On February 23, 2024, we recorded revenue collection milestone by generating N16,021,660,412.00. This daily collection strengthened our cumulative figure. These are laudable developments coming at a time the port is not enjoying its full import trade potentials owing to so many factors.”the out going comptroller said.

Comptroller Jaiyeoba added that ,”As a team working together from different directions towards a common goal, we relentlessly pursued maximum collection of duty by preventing leakages, fought against smuggling and ensured that complaint traders enjoyed hitch free clearance under customs control.

“Our various committee meetings, extra hours at work including getting officers to perform critical roles at weekends truly paid off because aside the target given to us by the headquarters, we raised the bar by increasing our drive for excellence at work with the aim of surpassing our target.

” I recall the selflessness and dedication put into work by all my officers including those in our strategic revenue committee and would like to specially thank all the members today. This speech and time allotted for it won’t permit me to mention their names one by one. I dedicate our success to the CGC and all officers and men of this command. Indeed, you are dispensing flagship performance at the flagship command”
He called on all the stakeholders,sister agencies in the command to extend the same hands of fellowship and support they gave him to the incoming Comptroller,even as he expressed confidence that the new Comptroller would deliver on his mandate.
In his goodwill message to the out going comptroller,Alhaji Kassim Issa Adua, Deputy president, National Council of Managing Directors and licensed Customs Agents( NCMDLCA), poured encomiums on the out going Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba.He described the out going Comptroller as a hard working,dedicated and result driven leader.He praised his managerial skill and his ability to manage tough situations.

In appreciation of his efforts at Apapa command during his time ,the Council presented an award plaque to the out goig Comptroller Jaiyeoba.
To the new Comptroller Babatunde Olomu,whom he described as a perfect replacement for the out going comptroller,he pledged the support of the council,while assurring that the council would work with him the same way they did with Jaiyeoba.
Also giving his goodwill message Okey Iroegbu,a journalist and member,Guild of Editors ,said he has confidence in the ability of the new Comptroller to succeed and even surpass previous records of the command,even as Udeme Clement,in her speech urged the command, the new CAC, and all stakeholders including journalists to work collectively to ensure that Nigeria succeeds.

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