The Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, recently met with President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in a private visit on July 11, 2023, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to congratulate on his appointment as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Adewale expressed his joy at the timing of President Tinubu’s appointment, as it coincided with his own emergence as the Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service. He conveyed his optimism that President Tinubu’s new role would foster improved regional integration, cooperation, border security, and coordinated monetary affairs.
One of the key topics discussed during their meeting was the active engagement of Customs administrations across the borders, particularly the strategic ones. Adewale emphasized the importance of collaboration among these administrations to achieve shared objectives of enhancing border security and promoting regional integration.
“I will be paying an official visit to the Republic of Benin, to have discussions with the Customs Administration of Benin to address the issues of border security, importation across the border, and more importantly, the deployment of technological solutions to very complex border problems,” he said.
He took the chance to extend his heartfelt thanks to the President for deeming him suitable to serve as the Acting Comptroller General of Customs. He emphasized that the opportunity to meet the President was both rewarding and intellectually stimulating.
“Mr President is a very good listener. We had discussions regarding what Customs can bring to the table, in terms of actualizing the vision of renewed hope for Nigeria, bridging the gaps in revenue generation, enforcement strategies, and most importantly, promoting port efficiency and competitiveness.”
The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs also pledged a practical approach to alleviate congestion at Nigerian ports, thereby boosting revenue generation, promoting lawful trade, and curbing smuggling.
“I am sure you are very familiar with the Presidential Advisory Council and there is a document which has been made public. Our discussions also centre around aligning the vision of Customs, the activities of Customs in short, medium and long terms with those nobles objectives set out in PAC documents,” he noted.
In response to the rumor about integrating government agencies, Adewale stated that he currently lacks any information regarding such plans. He further elaborated that while there exists a shared foundation among all revenue-generating agencies in the country, there are also certain overlapping concerns.
“There are some areas where we overlap and there are some areas where we can complement each other but in terms of bringing the agencies together under one organization, we are yet to get details of that and we will be waiting to get the details and see how that pans out,” he noted.
He elaborated on the ongoing procedures aimed at evaluating the present circumstances in relation to the objective of the border closure. He reassured that when the borders are eventually reopened, there will be no room for rumors or speculation surrounding this matter.