At the invitation of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Dikko Inde Abdullahi, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attends the opening ceremony of the Nigeria Customs Staff College which has also been designated as a WCO Regional Training Centre (RTC)

Abuja, 8 December 2011Opening of the Nigeria Customs Staff College/WCO Regional Training Centre

At the invitation of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Dikko Inde Abdullahi, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the opening ceremony of the Nigeria Customs Staff College which has also been designated as a WCO Regional Training Centre (RTC).

The Staff College and the RTC were officially inaugurated by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, himself a former Customs officer, in the presence of many dignitaries from Nigeria and surrounding countries.

During the Regional Meeting of Directors General held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, in March 2011, it was decided that the Staff College would be the home of the third RTC for the West and Central Africa region. The Memorandum of Understanding with the WCO was signed during the June 2011 Council Sessions.

In his speech, the Secretary General referred to the importance of this new WCO RTC for the entire West and Central Africa region, with its 23 Members. Training in both official languages of the WCO – English and French – would be offered at the new RTC.

The Secretary General looked forward to regional workshops and seminars being held at the excellent facilities in the new RTC, and to the RTC playing a leading role in fostering a knowledge-based, service-oriented culture and professionalism among Customs officers in the West and Central Africa region

In this tenure, there has been a consistent effort to reverse this ill wind which began in the commercial boom of 1960 up till 1975 when rapid expansion in trade between Nigeria and other sovereign nations, led to massive congestion at Nigerian ports.

The lack of vision in that era by port administrators, in –advertently led to maddening port congestions so much so that shneerson (1981) reports that waiting time for berthing ships in Nigerian ports, totaled up to 250 days. Of course the predictable result was valuable loss of income/revenue by shippers and government. Today through the efforts of Abdullahi Dikko Inde led administration, waiting time is been gradually reduced to 48 hours. This has been achieved through a single minded battle against ills such as corruption, by the deployment of competent staff, procurement of modern infrastructure and the deployment of electronic modules etc.

Issues such as the removal of multiple tariff regimes on goods and services and bureaucracy, in addition to others have in advertently led to increased patronage of Nigerian ports thereby increasing accruable revenue to Nigeria which currently stand at an unprecedented 150 billion naira, monthly.

Another event of utmost import, to the future success and glory of the NCS which occurred under this administration is the commissioning of the Customs College in Gwagwalada – Abuja, Nigeria. As part of the Comptroller Generals agenda i.e. capacity building, this will foster excellence and institute true knowledge to create world class officers.

At a time when Nigeria as a nation is bereft of visionary and credible leadership, accolade must never cease to pour on the few who continue to distinguish themselves both in public office and private venture. Abdullahi Dikko Inde has more than distinguished himself; he has redeemed a people, a nation. This is most likely why even his peers at the World Customs Organization (WCO) repose so much confidence as to grant him and Nigeria the rights to host its 66th session. In looking at the score sheet of the present saga of the NCS, we are able to expressly determine if this tenure has been productive or not. In order to determine this, we have to also review its manifesto at the inception, up till date. This is fully comprised in the 6 point agenda. Summarized as below;

  1. Maximizing Capacity building:

In this regard, right from the onset, this administration placed a very high premium on self improvement and training of its officers and men which previously only embarked on brief refresher courses at the Lagos and Kano colleges and courses to familiarizes staff with the new and modern ASCUDA.

The quest to improve staff proficiency and efficiency has led this customs administration to fast track the commissioning of the customs college in Abuja (2013), creation of the Human Resource Department, massive recruitment of new personnel (5,000 in 2009 and 2,800 in 2010.)

Creation of moral Rebirth:

The bane of the Nigerian Customs Service regression and Nigeria’s economic backwardness devolves from a rampant and pervasive moral decay in all its ramifications. In resolving to tackle this monster head on, the Abdullahi Dikko Inde regime has endeared itself irrevocably to the Nigerian people. This has been achieved through practical means such as the increase by 100% of staff salaries and emoluments, the purchase of 120 units of 3 bedroom duplexes for all categories of staff, purchase of 400 operational vehicles, and provision of basic working tools and equipments, resuscitation of the officers’ wives association to give these women a sense of productivity and belonging. The result of this singular action, has resulted in visible change, in occupational attitude of staff of the NCS and has reduced drastically, incidents of escapism, redundancy and i nducements, which where all trademarks of the old NCS.

Incentiving and Improving Welfare of Officers.




In many years prior to 2009, officers and men if the customs were grossly under-remunerated with promotion deferred for many years as well. This led to pervasive corruption and in-efficiency within the service.

One of the greatest achievements therefore of this administration is the resolution of long overdue packages across board. Other incentives such as the improvement of office structures and buildings, training/capacity building e.t.c have duly contributed to the growing public confidence in the brand new NCS.