From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
MEN and officers of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) were shocked and in disbelief last Tuesday when their immediate past boss, Mr. Abdullahi Dikko Inde, tendered his resignation to President Muhammadu Buhari after a six-year stint as the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs.
They were in disbelief because it was the first time a sitting CG would resign before his tenure would expire.
It also took many by surprise because Dikko, as he was fondly called, endeared himself to the heart of his men through his achievements.
It was to his credit too that for the first time in the history of the NCS, its revenue profile rose from a monthly average of N30 billion to about N100 billion. Dikko is also credited for modernising the Customs Service through far-reaching reforms he introduced in his six-point agenda upon assumption of office.
At the headquarters of the service people could be seen in clusters discussing the man that brought so much transformation to the service. One of the officers who spoke anonymously to Daily Sun said that Dikko warmed himself to the heart of many with his six-point agenda, which led to the radical renovation of customs quarters coupled with the provision of improved medical facilities. He was also credited for improving trainings and general welfare of Customs staff and their families.
According to him, before Dikko was appointed Customs CG, Customs barracks was similar to Nigeria Police barracks where there was no order. But Inde was able to clean up the mess and restored orderliness and respect for members of the service.
Some of his achievements include maximising the potentials of the service through capacity building, moral rebirth for discipline and integrity in the service in tandem with the nation’s current re-branding agenda and incentivitising productivity and ensuring an enhanced welfare package for officers and men of the service.
He equally consolidated on the current e-Customs through Automated System of Customs Data (ASYCUDA) for international best practices and fostered understanding of the service in the eye of the general public, using an intensified and a well- coordinated public relations platform.
Others include the purchase of 120 units three-bedroom detached duplexes housing estate commissioned by former President Goodluck Jonathan and construction of residential housing estate for Comptroller General and members of the management team.
Inde also constructed a first class hospital at Karu, Abuja and recruited over 10,144 youths comprising degree holders, HND, OND, NCE, WAEC and drivers from 2009 to date to boost workforce of the service.
He equally purchased about 400 units of Toyota Hilux vans for border patrol operations and 3,800 AK47 assault rifles with ammunition for anti-smuggling operations in addition to training of 200 special anti-terrorism squad by expert instructors from South Africa to prepare them for the challenges of recent developments in the north eastern part of the country.
Today, with the number of the deployed officers manning the ruling centre, coordinating the workings of “single window network” Nigerian trade hub and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) applications, there is a better performance compared to the service provider regime. For instance, the Customs administration under Dikko now handles classifications, valuation and inspection thereby saving the government the initial 1 per cent CISS paid to the erstwhile service providers, which totalled (from 2004 -2012) N253.9 billion.
Other notable performances to justify the cost saved for government, while maintaining the officer’s normal salaries within the period of its commencement in administering the destination inspection are as follows:
From January 1 to July 31, 2014, a total number of 163,047 PAARs was issued with a total value of N4,350,132,031,031,101 .0:82 and with a Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) saved value (for the government) of N221,180,939,893:16.
A comparison between the actual monthly import duty revenue and PAAR revenue profile and performance for the period January to June of 2010 and January to June 2014, showed a total difference of N78,036,601,539:10.
Dikko whose resignation took effect from August 18, 2015 had perceived that the President Muhammadu Buhari government would not be fair to him decided to throw in the towel early this month.
On August 3, 2015, he sent his resignation letter to the President who on August 14, 2015, acknowledged its receipt.
In the letter, Abdullahi expressed his satisfaction on the achievements recorded through his dogged implementation of his six-point agenda, which has modernised the service. A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Customs, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, said the president expressed the appreciation of government for the service which the Comptroller General has rendered to the nation in the last six years.
Source : SunOnline