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July 17, 2024

CGC BA Adeniyi: Going Through Twelve Months Of Flamboyant Milestones & Pretty Target Ahead – By Muhammad Bashir

Naturally, humans were created with different sense of judgment over what they see, hear or feel in life, and I am handsomely sure that there exists many others who think, people like Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller–General of Customs can only celebrated, extolled or praised by essayists due to his magnetic closeness with them – as a well–known and distinguished family member of the PR clan. Thus, I expect my write–up to be given a good look and equally be served with a better same treatment.

I am of the opinion that, one of the archetypes and principles of picking up a pen to produce lines of literatures, either about a thing or an individual, is not only meant to showcase self–expertise and or proficiency in grammar; it is an old–aged means of publicizing information that will enhance people’s knowledge – and that’s what I intend to do.

In June 2023, when the news of appointing BA Adeniyi as the Ag. Comptroller–General of Customs amongst other heads of sister security agencies broke; mine reaction slightly differed from others’ ‘at that point in time’ because I didn’t choose to follow the cheering group to celebrate with them; instead I took my time to enter into webs of the appointees’ pasts to study their achievements as well as what they were able to offer to the nation – that prompted the president to give them such ‘very sensitive and heavy’ tasks.

Well, for BA Adeniyi, who was at that time wearing a rank of Deputy Comptroller–General, all I could find about his patriotic service to Nigeria was positive and praiseworthy, I must say. The man knows his job and has always been reliable and determined about it. I could still remember the rejoicing sounds of periodic shootings in the air by some Customs operatives at different formations – as well as good wishes and re-generation of hopes that the Service will ‘once again’ regain its glory back; become more befitting and reputable, in such a way that it echoes will be heard all over the world – and that’s what he’s doing!

Regimentally, force work is never like that of politicians – where a successor may decide to throw away his predecessor’s vital policies, probably due to ‘blind’ political rivalry or something else. The then Ag. CGC carefully enlisted all the productive plans and policies built by the former CGC, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), amongst the new ones that he wishes to implement – hence, the idea behind ‘baptising’ one of his trio policy thrusts as CONSOLIDATION.

I once had the opportunity to discuss with ACG Ibrahim Alfa (rtd), an ex–member of the Service’s Management Team, who co–headed the Strategy, Research, and Policy Department. He shared with me CGC Adeniyi’s remarkable leadership qualities and how he professionally represents the Service at various functions, inspiring confidence in his team and reaffirming that Nigeria Customs Service is indeed back on track. By all indications, ACG Alfa, as well as all other officers and men of Service, has a very huge respect for CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi.

I could remember how he laudably blown a golden trumpet of salutations and glorification to CGC Adeniyi, citing multiple stunning and jaw-dropping developments that the Customs Boss brought to the Service, especially in the areas of engaging with stakeholders to form a strong collaboration as well equipping his staff with latest knowledge to put the Service on innovative track. You can’t listen to ACG Alfa’s testimonies about CGC Adeniyi without developing an interest to read about his past and follow his present endeavours.

In all honesty, CGC Adeniyi’s unique way of speaking, according to ACG Alfa (rtd) has its own distinct spice that will boost your confidence in him, and you’ll instantly believe that he is doing everything possible to leave a lasting legacy in the Nigeria Customs Service. Lucky enough, his recent exhibition of all the achievements and milestones he accomplished within the span of one year has not only reaffirmed his fitness for this responsibility; but also his integral prowess and technical know-how of the job.

By now, I’m pretty certain that most of his critics have thoroughly gone through the piece he presented during his one-year-in-office anniversary on June 19th at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja, although many will always look deeply to fabricate what they will paint as black against him. That, to me, is natural – and not all nature’s grandeur can be tamed.

In my personal opinion, CGC has always been doing what sentient beings recognise to be a ‘non-stop season of ripe fruits’ for all – because even for non-Customs, the impact of what he does is directly proportional to the well–being of the common man in the land. Let’s look at his Trade Facilitation efforts since he assumed office; his policy of transforming Nigeria into Africa’s most efficient trading hub; his massive idea of decongesting areas within 4km around ports for cargo, road, and railway usage; his laudable effort of securing executive order 001 from the president to enforce the clearance of goods at seaports within 48-hour; his excellent strategy to redefining the performance measures of key government agencies to accentuate trade facilitation and his recent effort of transitioning the concept of boosting economy from the yore strategy of Fast Track 2.0 to the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) concept – amongst many other packages. So tell me, if this man can’t be praised; I believe it will be difficult for people to curse him.

We all don’t need to be serving Customs officers to understand or agree with what is ‘already’ being laid on the ground, especially what relates his strength in ensuring a proficient revenue collection. The NCS, under him, has remarkably reported a 74% growth in revenue collection over the past year, recording a total revenue collection of N4.49 trillion between June 2023 and May 2024, compared to the N2.58 trillion collected during the corresponding period of the previous year. That’s unequivocally HUGE!

I was personally so happy to have learnt that the Service had, in its efforts to curb the menace of illegal trade of petrol, recorded 724 seizures of 2.93 million litres of PMS that were attempted to be smuggled out of the country. This, surely, has a direct relation with the on–going onslaught called ‘Operation Whirlwind’ aimed to intensify both the interception and disruption of the activities of smugglers in this regard. Basically, CGC BA Adeniyi has not left any stone un–turned when it comes to making positive inputs in the Service – thus, his one year in office has been flamboyant and not a waste!

At this point in time, it is my hope that this write–up is not going to be given a low–class treatment or judged wrongly – because it favours a PR guru? Surely we can always support this man with advice and even constructive criticism – for he is such a leader that listens to everyone…and remember, NCS is not a party that some people throw their spears at because it goes against their manifest. NCS is a security agency and, of course, a revenue generating organisation that needs everyone’s support and prayers.

As you look forward to implementing more outstanding measures that will yield positive benefits for the overall well-being of the nation, it is my prayer that God will be your strength and protector!

Muhammad Bashir is a public commentator and analyst. He can be reached via email: macbashir89@gmail.com for more details.

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