(Vice President Namadi Sambo being received by Comptroller General Of Customs Abdullahi Dikko Inde and Minister of state for Finance-Dr Ngama, on the arrival of the Vice President at the  2012 Customs Comptroller General Conference in Katsina on Monday)

Sambo tasks Comptroller-General to weed out corrupt custom officials

The Vice President of Nigeria, Architect Namadi Sambo has challenged the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service to weed out corrupt officials who give a bad name to the service.

“I believe that more still needs to be done to correct the lingering perception of corruption and fraud in the service”

“In line with our administration zero tolerance for corruption, the customs service must constantly examine itself by weeding out corrupt men and officers whose activities tarnish the image of the service. You must faithfully abide by the firm principle of good governance which encapsulates transparency and integrity.”

Sambo who represented President Goodluck Jonathan said this in his address at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Comptroller-General’s Annual Conference of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Kastina tagged “Borders divides, Customs connects” on Monday.

While urging the officials of the service to use all within their disposal to achieve set goals of facilitating trade as well as increasing revenue allocation, the Vice-President also said he was happy with the effort made by the customs in reducing the proliferation of small arms in the country.

“We are largely committed to increasing our national non-oil sector revenue. The customs service has a vital role to play in support of our determined effort to achieve this goal”

On revenue generation, the nation’s number two man said

“I must congratulate the efforts of the Comptroller-general and the service in general for the clear improvement that from N30 billion a day, today we are at N100 billion and the comptroller-general has confidently informed me that very soon it will increase to N 150 Billion”

In addition, he said though their efforts were commendable, the customs service need to collaborate with other agencies to bring illegal dealings in the nation’s borders to a low rate.

“Persistent smuggling and other criminal activities at our entry ports require you to boost existing collaboration with other customs service across the world. Constant networking and exchange of vital and accurate information with sister agencies, will not only ensure easy detection, it will also guarantee the reception of high rate shipment in the international supply chain.”

He assured them of total Government’s support in helping to bring perpetrators of evil acts to book.

In addition, Sambo lauded the efforts of the Kastina State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Sheman and commended him for the various new projects he had.

FORMAL VICE PRECIDENT ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR

On his part, a former Vice-President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who revealed that he was hired by the service on June 30, 1969 said he was taught by the white men who trained him at Ebute-Metta that the major function of the customs service was to facilitate trade.

Atiku noted that during his time in the service, he placed emphasis on trade and revenue generation than on seizure of goods.

Alhaji Ibrahim Sheman

In his welcome address, the Governor of Katsina state, Alhaji Ibrahim Sheman applauded the officials of the service and noted that adequate funding and continuous training of its officials will help boost its efficiency.

“It is when they are adequately funded that the issue of revenue generation can be fully looked into.”

Other dignitaries present at the event include Former President of Nigeria in the second republic, Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari; Minister of State for Finaceecuted.

Vice President Namadi Sambo being received by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Ibrahim Shema on the arrival of the Vice President at the Katsina Airport for the 2012 Customs Comptroller General Conference in Katsina on Monday)

President Goodluck Jonathan has tasked the Nigerian Customs Service to continuously evolve ways and means through which Nigeria’s borders would connect her to the economic benefits of global trade and enhanced security.

The president made this charge today at the 2012 Comptroller General’s Annual Conference holding in Katsina.President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo stated that the conference, with the theme “Borders Divide, Customs Unite” was appropriate considering the global trend of globalization and regional integration and emphasised the need for regular interactions across diverse borders as a path to collective peace and national prosperity.

“With globalization and regional integration transforming the world economy, the path to our collective peace and national prosperity is regular interactions across diverse borders”. Said the president;

While commending the Nigerian Customs Service for its role as the primary enforcer of trade policy and the nation’s gatekeeper, the president however called on the organisation to boost its existing collaboration with other customs services across the world for exchange of accurate and vital information to secure her international boundaries from high-risk shipments.

Abdullahi advocates media, Customs partnership

Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi, yesterday, cautioned his men against snubbing the media, noting that same would work against accurate reporting of the activities of the service.

Speaking at the ongoing 2012 Comptroller-General’s Annual Conference of the Customs in Katsina, Katsina State, Dikko condemned some Customs Area Controllers, CACs, who, he noted, hardly pick their calls, much less respond to inquires by journalists.