I write to commend and appreciate the Nigeria Customs Service under the able leadership of the Comptroller General, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), for weariless contribution to the county’s annual revenue collection and curtailing the smuggling of arms proliferation and other prohibited items coming through the land borders.
Prior to the appointment of Hameed Ali, the revenue generation of the Nigeria Customs was quite low, with a total of N741,8 billion generated in 2011; N850,8 billion in 2012; N833,4 billion in 2013 and N978 billion in 2014. However, the record of income collection has greatly improved beyond expectation after he took office on 27 August 2015.
Hameed Ali generated N903 billion in 2015, N898 billion in 2016, N1 trillion in 2017, N1.1 trillion in 2018, N1.3 trillion in 2019, N1.5 trillion in 2020, and N1.003 in the first quarter of 2021 into the federation account from his assumption to date, which is seven years now.
Nevertheless, the Comptroller g eneral has modified and increased his team’s wages, so helping them to shun any form of bribery and corruption. This certainly is a significant motivation to serve the country diligently and transparently. This is because the concept discourages them from collecting bribes from these human ‘contrabandists’.
With regard to combating the proliferation of weaponry, smuggling, illegal importation of drugs and other prohibited items that generally promote violent extremism and terrorism within our porous borders, the men of Nigeria Customs have performed wonderfully well.
In August 2019, the federal government announced the closure of land borders to control the operations of smugglers and weapons operators and to enable the local manufacture of certain goods to flourish. Consequently, the border shutdown has drastically reduced the proliferation of weaponry and ammunition, as well as increase revenue collection at the seaports, and most importantly, assisted in the fight against smuggling in the country.
Since the closure of our borders, prodigious number of firearms and illegitimate drugs have been intercepted and are continuously captured at seaports, airports and land borders by our industrious Customs officers.
It’s indisputable that the Customs contributes immensely to our economic wellbeing and in protecting the society by deterring the cross-border trade in dangerous and unsafe products in Nigeria.
Therefore, the government should meticulously try all its possible best to fully implement their allowances, because of the hazardous nature of their work. Primarily, when engaging with rice smugglers, many officers lose their lives while battling with these outlaws at our land borders.
In a nutshell, I would like to, therefore, implore the Customs boss and his team to not relent or be dissuaded from rescuing their country from the lingering insurgency and contribute to the improvement of the country’s revenue generation.
Mallam Musbahu Magayaki,
Sabon Fegi, Azare, Bauchi state