‘Brace Up For 100% Physical Examination’- Mohammed Tells Importers
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Newly appointed Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed has urged importers and their clearing agents to be prepared to embrace 100percent physical examination of packaged and containerized imports.
Speaking yesterday during an elaborate handing and taking over ceremony at the Customs Command Head Office, the unapologetic apostle and executor of 100percent physical examination charged officers and men of the command to ensure total compliance in their assignments; noting that operational due process shall remain the fulcrum of professionalism, and as the basis for trade facilitation.
Further noting that been a well structured command with a high heel performance standard already put in place by his predecessor, Acting ACG Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf, Mohammed said he was more than ready and prepared to fit into the big shoes being left behind; not only to sustain the outstanding track records but to seek for newer strategies and remodeling to improve on the command’s overall performance index.
His words: “I am delighted to be here with you. We know that the Federal Government is relying on officers in the command and elsewhere to collect and generate revenues, and to stop and suppress smuggling.
“We know how far we have gone at this Area Command, we know how the service and the Federal Government are relying on the officers of this command to generate and collect revenue and to also carry out effective anti-smuggling.
“I know the shoes I am stepping into, but I want to assure you that I am prepared for the job. I am coming from Onne Port, though smaller, but we have done our best there, and here, we are going to double and triple what we did at my last area Command.
“My first assignment is to make sure that I sustain the tempo, that is why in addition to remodeling of the command, we are going to introduce due process, this means doing your work without any blemish.
“I am going to corporate with you, encourage and legitimately support you. I am appealing to you not to relent on your efforts but to double the total support you have given to my senior colleague. I am inheriting a well structured Area Command, from what I have seen, all I can do is improve on it.”
Fondly known and called Mr. Due Process. Mohammed charged officers and men of the command to ensure that protocol and procedures are not undermined, noting that national security and trade facilitation must be balanced at all times.
“I want to urge the releasing and examination officers that, no package or containers should leave Apapa port without hundred percent examination. In making decisions on whether cargoes should be suspect or non suspect, the officers must exhibit all sense of responsibility, so that you don’t release an uncustom cargo.”
Earlier, the out-gone CAC, ACG Malanta Yusuf described Comptroller Mohammed as an exemplary leader with knack for details, and hence nick-named ‘Due Process’ for his professionalism in operational processes encouraged, and enjoined officers to avail him the same amount of support he received while at the helms of affairs at the Apapa Command.
The Ag ACG ICT & Modernisation said, “Auwal here is Mr. Due Process, everything about him is due process, so we are now in the era of due process. I know Compt Auwal can do it better, he has a much more midas touch.
“”I understand that trade is going down. There are so many unpredictability in trade today. I always say that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, just go straight in all your documentations. I urge the stakeholders to continue to be compliant, go straight and you would be there earlier than you think. Trade can only be predicted when you are compliant.
“Trade is more predicted when you are compliant. Declare the true content of your cargo. Declare the full value of your cargo. Remember, custom duty is aggregated by a compound of cost of goods, freight and insurance. It is only when you declare your actual cost, freight and insurance that trade can be competitive and cargo can move,” he said.
The new CAC on behalf of the officers and men of the command presented Ag ACG Yusuf a parting gift, even as officers and men thanked him for his mentoring, personal and operational development support whilst he was the CAC; and wished him well in his new assignment.
Earlier at the parade ground, ACG Yusuf had also presented Certificate of Commendation to deserving officers across the rank and file, officers who had distinguished themselves and aided the realization of high-profile seizures and enhanced revenue collection at the Command, including the Command Public Relations Officer, CSC Usman Abubakar and the Command Staff Officer.
“The Service is rewarding those who have played a good role in ensuring that the Customs system is enhanced and compliance is strictly adhered to. However, the fact that your name isn’t called doesn’t mean that your work isn’t recognized. You should continue to blow your trumpets by yourself with exemplary conduct and professionalism,” ACG Yusuf said.
He explained that most of the recommendations came from the terminals where the officers were posted to work, noting he didn’t know some of these officers personally but that their work distinguished them, and urged officers and men to do their utmost best at all times.