Shettima asks Adeniyi to restore professionalism to Customs

The Vice President, Kashim Shettima on Monday, charged the newly appointed Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi to restore professionalism to the agency.

Shettima stated this while decorating Adeniyi as the Customs Comptroller General, describing his appointment by President Bola Tinubu as “a morale booster for officers in the service”.

The Vice President, while congratulating Adeniyi on his appointment, stated that it will restore hope and professionalism to the NCS, while it will also encourage customs officers to aspire to occupy the pinnacle of their profession.

“I wish you well, on behalf of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Congratulations, once again,” he said.

Speaking to journalists shortly after his decoration ceremony, Adeniyi expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for appointing a serving officer as the head of the agency, assuring him and Nigerians of a more effective and innovation driven Nigeria Customs Service.

“In the last eight years, the Nigeria Customs Service has gone through a period of transition. In some areas, we recorded progress – we made remarkable progress in E-Customs; we made a lot of breakthroughs in capacity building. But the Customs Service can still live to its full potential when we bring in more innovation to drive Customs operations. These are the kind of things we are looking at in the years ahead.

“We are going to be professional in our approach, there are a number of key stakeholders that we are going to be working with, it is a very onerous task but we are going to be working alongside other stakeholders and partners that we have identified.

“We intend to come up with innovations that will carry along all partners and stakeholders. We are going to leverage technology and innovation to break new grounds in Customs operations,” he said.

Speaking later after taking over the reigns of leadership of the NCS from the former Comptroller-General, Hameed Ali, at the Customs Headquarters in Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, Adeniyi said he would build on the “solid foundation” laid by his predecessor.

Recall that Ali, a retired army officer, was appointed Customs Comptroller-General in August 2015 by then President Muhammadu Buhari. He was, however, removed from the position by President Bola Tinubu on June 19, 2023.

“Senior officers would have noticed that Hameed Ali has remarkably transformed Customs within the seven years that he was here. During our meetings, such as this, when he came in 2015, and because of the kind of background that he has, he considered us as ‘you’. Today, he made several references that he is part of us. He used the word family about three times. He came in as a retired colonel but he is going out as a customs officer.

“I want to say you have discharged your responsibility to the best of your knowledge. Sometimes we feel that you are not compromising, sometimes people think the military background takes more of you. There is nobody that can take away the fact that you are a firm leader.

“We also appreciate your vision. What is left for us to do is to build on the solid foundation you have prepared for us and consolidate on some of those programmes,” Adeniyi told his predecessor.

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