In further recognition of the superlative performance since his appointment as the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in 2009, Abdullahi Dikko, was honored by the 15th of June, 2013 by the Bulgarian Alumni Association with an award for excellence in terms of reforms the NCS.

The alumnus, with about 600 members, consists of Nigerians with Degrees from various Bulgarian Institutions who have returned back home to contribute to nation building.

Present at the award dinner night where Dikko’s name was again written in gold for unparalleled performance in the history of the NCS, were the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Minister of Interior, Senator Kabiru Taminu Turaki, chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri, amongst other eminent Nigerians.

Dikko, who dedicated the award to hardworking officers and men of the NCS, said he was very humbled to have been nominated and deemed fit for such a prestigious award by his colleagues in the Alumni. He explained that the Alumni has provided a rallying point for Nigerians who studied in Bulgaria in the last three decades.

On his advice to Nigerians going abroad to study or currently studying abroad, Dikko advised them to be themselves and realize that there is no other country better than Nigeria. He reminded them that they are in such countries for a purpose, adding that “immediately you achieve that purpose you have to come back home, that is how nations were built,” he said. As for his message to Nigerians in the diaspora, it is simply that “they should come back home.” I am here and I have been given an opportunity and I am being honoured today because I have excelled. So if they come back like I did, we can all join hands and Nigeria can be another United States of America, the customs boss said.

Speaking on areas of achievement for which he is very proud of himself out of all the areas for which he was recognized, Dikko said it is the improved welfare scheme and capacity building he brought about at the NCS. He said it was his belief that officers and men of the service from whom much was expected had to also be given more.

“I believe to whom much is given much is expected. Once you are being taken care of, you will then put in your best,” he said and added that without these hardworking and dedicated officers and men, the service would not be where it is today. He maintained that he was extremely proud of the officers who were all willing to embrace modernization and are now the key to the reforms. He said everyone in the service had to compulsorily undergo computer literacy classes and added that the entire customs workforce were now computer literate, which is a major factor behind the service’s excellence.

Earlier, the Minister of Special Duties, Senator Kabiru Taminu Turaki, commended the achievement so far recorded in the customs service under Dikko, saying he was proud of him. Turaki said the NCS has now been reformed and positioned to contribute more to the economy of the nation through increased revenue generation.

The minister, who presented Dikko with his award, urged him to continue in the path that has earned him the recognition and continue to do the country proud, even as he urged customs officers and men to continue to support the comptroller-general in discharging his responsibility.

Also speaking, Dabiri also used the opportunity to challenge other Nigerians in the diaspora to emulate Dikko and other members of the alumni and return home to contribute their quota to nation building. Describing Dikko as a hardworking and devoted man with a difference, Dabiri said, he wouldn’t have been the comptroller-general of Customs today if he had stayed back in Bulgaria after his studies. She maintained, “Americans fixed America, Bulgarians fixed Bulgaria, South Africans fixed South Africa so it is only Nigerians that can fix Nigeria. It is a team work.