The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has affirmed that his administration will place a continued emphasis on fostering strong community relations in border regions.
This focus aims to facilitate the seamless execution of the Service’s constitutional duties.
CGC Adeniyi expressed this commitment on the 29th of August, 2023, during a courtesy visit by members of the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Customs and Excise. The delegation, led by Senator Francis Ade Fadahunsi MFR, visited the Service’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja.
The Senate had established the ad-hoc Committee on the 19th of July, 2023, to probe reported incidents of recurring fatalities involving Officers and Personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Following a motion by Abdulaziz Yar’adua (APC, Katsina Central) to examine Customs’ community interactions in the Katsina axis, Senate President Senator Godswill Akpabio appointed Francis Fadahunsi (PDP, Osun Central), a retired Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, to chair the 7-member ad-hoc Committee.
Reflecting on the recent field visits undertaken by the committee to various border areas in the nation, the Acting CGC conveyed his gratitude for their dedication to aiding Customs in enhancing its border relations policies.
“We can’t afford to antagonize any member of our host community. Because at the end of the day, what use is the facilitation of trade and the revenue we are generating if the communities are dead? So, whatever we do, we do it in the interest of the community; that’s the community that we’re serving.”
He noted that the Service is preparing to introduce a fresh approach to engaging with Nigerians at the community level.
This will involve launching strategic corporate social responsibility initiatives that, as he explained, will emphasize their overall social stability, welfare, and well-being.
The head of the Customs, reflecting on the nearly three decades of support for a Secondary School in Idiroko, highlighted their commitment to meeting citizens’ needs.
He expressed the intention to seek support and understanding from the National Assembly for such impactful projects.
He also mentioned the plan to allocate employment opportunities to members of the local communities as a means of responsiveness.
The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, consistently encouraged community members to view customs operatives as fellow Nigerians fulfilling a national duty within their own communities.
Earlier, Senator Francis Ade Fadahunsi, Chair of the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Customs and Excise, presented a progress report on their fact-finding visit to the CGC. He reassured the CGC of the Senate’s backing in resolving any misunderstandings with border communities.
Fadahunsi praised the Acting Comptroller General’s approach to enhancing community relations and affirmed his committee’s commitment to maintaining a positive working relationship with the Service, thus contributing to its goals.
The committee’s delegation attending the meeting included Shuaib Salisu (Ogun Central), Kawu Sumaila (Kano South), Tony Nwoye (Anambra North), Suleiman Sadiq (Kwara North), Abdulaziz Yar’adua (Katsina Central), and Adeola Olamilekan (Ogun Central).