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Knowing the coveted officer and a gentleman – Abdullahi Dikko Inde (MFR, CFR)

The recent national award which elevated the Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko Inde, from a Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) to Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR), could not have come at a better time, considering his contribution to national development.

This Katsina State born man has indeed been a blessing to the nation, especially since his appointment as the Comptroller-General of the nation’s Customs Service. He has turned the fortunes of the Service around through the overhauling of its entire process and procedures to the extent that the NCS now equates itself with its counterparts across the world.

Born on May 11, 1960 at Musawa, in Musawa local government area, Katsina State, to the family of AbdullahiUsmanInde, Dikko began his early education in 1967 at Musawa Primary School, Musawa, where he obtained his first school leaving certificate.

He then proceeded to Government College, Kaduna, in 1974/75 where he obtained the West Africa School Certificate in 1979/80. His leadership trait which was observed by his teachers resulted in his selection as House Captain of Elkanemi House of the prestigious college.

At the end of his secondary school education he proceeded to the University of Dimitrov Apostle Tshenov, Suishtov, Bulgaria, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. His zeal for education further drove him to acquire his Master’s Degree in Finance, with special emphasis on investment finance, from the same University of D.A. Tsenov-Suishtov, Bulgaria.

This indefatigable gentleman who has made it possible for the Nigeria Customs to achieve the status of a 21st century Customs, enlisted in the superintendent cadre of the Service in 1988 and quickly rose to the rank of an Assistant Comptroller-General within a few years due to his dedication to work.

He not only rose to the rank of an Assistant Comptroller-General within a few years, but because of his performance over the years, was appointed to a prominent position as the ACG Headquarters from where he was appointed to the most coveted position of Comptroller-General of Customs by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009.

The versatile Dikko who is a member of Certified National Accountants(CNA), and Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM), had previously worked with the Kaduna State audit headquarters, where he sat for the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) qualifying examinations and qualified as an accountant, before joining the NCS.

Dikko who is married to Hajia Saadiya, an Ahmadu Bello University Graduate of Library Science, with whom he is blessed with four children; Hadiza, Aisha, Ahmad and Abdullahi, is by no means a stranger to the operations of the NCS, he knows the operations of the Service like the back of his hand, having served at various departments and commands, an advantage largely responsible for his unprecedented performance as the Comptroller-General.

His carrier took on an irreversible turn beginning from 1994 when he was appointed a member of the port decongestant committee. His performance as a member of that committee snowballed into his appointment, in 2001, to open Phase II and III of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal with a mandate to ease congestion.

He has also served at the Tin Can Island Port, Apapa Port, Imo, Badagry, Kaduna and Seme Border commands respectively, as well as in the Investigation and Inspection unit of the Service.

In recognition of his performance while in Tin Can Island Port, he was awarded a commendation from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). Similarly, while serving as the Customs Area Comptroller of the Badagry Area Command, a Command that oversees the nation’s premier border with regards to revenue collection and trade facilitation, he was flooded with several awards for excellent performance.

In 2007, he received National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents’ Award of the Best Anti Smuggling Command, and International Freight Forwarders Associations Award of the Highest CAC Revenue Collector. He also received the Maritime Watch Outstanding Service Award, the Badagry Prime Award for Excellence, and the Sky times Awards for Maritime Excellence all in 2007.

He is also a recipient of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Lagos axis Award of Excellence as the Bureaucrat of Peace, as well as S.A.M.E Media Friendly Customs Officer of the Year, Customs Revenue Strategist and Customs Comptroller of the Year awards.

Dikko, whose insatiable quest for knowledge has prompted him to attend various courses locally and internationally which includes leadership training course at the University of Pittsburgh United States of America, is a recipient of the 2008 Toplead Media Communications Company Eminent African Leadership Merit Award (EALMA), and the Bold News Africa International Magazine’s African Leadership Icon Merit Award 2008, as well as Africa International News Magazine’s African Leaders of Integrity Merit Award, 2008.

This achiever par excellence who is recognised even in the international front is also a recipient of the international relief organization, Jeddah Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Award for Philanthropic Services.

He also received the Badagry New Generation Movement Award for Outstanding Personality Against Smuggling, Accolades International Magazine’s African Icon of our Generation Award, 2008, and African Age International Leadership Gold Award for Excellence.

The Customs boss whose list of honors stretches on was equally honored in 2008 with the African Gold International Communications Award for Great African Patriotic Achievers (GAPAGA), Beema Communications Limited Award for Meritorious Service and Exemplary Leadership (MSAEL), 2008, and the African Choice International News Magazine Award for Meritorious Service also in 2008.

Dikko also has to his honor the South-South International Magazine Merit Award of Excellence in Public Service, 2009, the Africa International Media Organization Meritorious Award for Heroic Service, 2009, the Globalink International 2009 African International Role Model Leadership Gold Award for National Development, and the Northern Students’ Congress Excellency Award for Selfless Services to Humanity.

This highly celebrated man also has to his honor the Transparent Monitoring Action’s Award for Transparent Administrator of the Year 2009, Sir Abubarka Tafawa Balewa Inspirational Leadership and Good Governance Award, 2009..