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Customs Strike Force Big Counterbalance

Perhaps, one thing critics cannot take away from the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service; Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) is his principled leadership style that thrives on competence, compliance, merit, foresight, sound judgment, and nationalistic focus devoid of tribalism and ethno-religious sentiments.
Above attributes which happens to be the fulcrum of leadership hallmark is what Ali has also deployed in the CG Strike Force, beyond all compartments of narrow consideration. Since appointing Deputy Comptroller Abdullahi Kirawa as  the National Coordinator, the Strike Force has taken the  game to the next level, breaking down all the hitherto barriers as it mops-up leakages from the land borders and seaports, alike. 
An unbendable and hardboiled enforcement officer, Kirawa has acquired a long standing reputation as a ‘notorious spoiler’ dreaded within and without. Smugglers who have encountered him in the past, and they by no mean few, will remember him as a pleasant and comely operative in the face but highly unpredictable and more often than not hard boiled in the demand for what is right and firm as a nail with enforcement decisions.
When the news of his appointment went round, it must have resonated in the underworld, while few must cursed the day, especially those who have had the misfortune of coming face to face with him along the Seme/Idiroko axis, years back. Since his appointment he has left no one in doubt that a new sheriff is in town, as the Strike Task Force has continue to rebound with impressive records of seizures, nationwide, under his watch. As Kirawa continues to oxygenate the task force, especially at a time of national emergency like this, when security issues, youths drug addition, blockage of revenue leakages, the drive up to rejig and re-strengthen government policy compliance cannot be overemphasized, and that is what makes the CGC’s appointment of a tested, trusted, professionally mobile, intellectually sagacious and meticulous operative like Kirawa more profound.
With him on the dais, it’s either eyes right, or you are out of formation and damned. It did not come as a surprise to followers of events that Kirawa made the list of promoted officer to the rank of deputy comptroller. Those whose business it is to know say he was overdue. An unapologetic enforcement operative, Kirawa has been around the jungle for quite awhile, sniffing criminal footprints and purring through the vast unfriendly darkling plains, to confront smugglers at very great risk on the line of duty, often head on.
His records of anti-smuggling activities are replete with historical exploits of major confrontations, some of which were by diligent ambush, and some of which has attracted national attention. Not so much by its’ seizes any less the professionalism brought to bear on such operations, a few of which were reported as operations behind enemy line.
A team spirit officer, even though he has a history of working under various CGC Task Forces in prior administrations, Kirawa is believed to be a disciplined and  thorough bred professional, who accorded the customs area controllers where he operates, every courtesy and official acknowledgment; where he remains unobtrusive and the CAC takes the glory for recorded successes. Even though enforcement duty comes easier for him, Kirawa is said to possess and have demonstrated uncanny resourcefulness and craft in other core customs operational competences like tariff reading and revenue generation.
Also believed to possess an uncanny quirk that guide some of his actions, he has fought many battles in the line of tax collection, in addition to the personal inner fight and every day struggle associated with public service, exemplified in work place vicissitudes, the personal struggle of faith to hold on amid challenging stations of life, to which quite a sizeable number of public servants are also exposed.
Kirawa is also a seasoned administrator and manager of human resources, who has the uncanny facility of pooling together the best manpower to prosecute any assignment. In doing this, he breaks the bond of mediocrity and all socio-cultural leanings including tribal and religious attachments, aiming only for the very best. In his team are officers and men who have distinguished themselves in exemplary exploits and sound operational judgments in anti-smuggling combat. Prosecuting the war against smugglers with him is the South West Zonal Coordinator, Assistant Comptroller Shuabu M. S, South-South/South East Zonal Coordinator, Assistant Comptroller Olumisere Kayode, Zone D Coordinator, CSC Jude Ohagwu.
Between August 11 and September 18, 2018, the Strike Force generated a whooping Four Hundred and Four Million, Seven Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N414, 712,500.00) from seizures of assortment of contraband and trade goods that violated the importation guidelines.
A total of eleven trailers of banned imported foreign rice was part of the seizure, including various types of automobiles, vegetable oil, fairly used clothing, shoes, unprocessed, sugar and classified woods and foreign frozen poultry products.
Kirawa who disclosed above said the seized items leaked through the land borders, nationwide, vowing that the Nigeria Customs Service will continue to waste the wall chest of fund of the smugglers in the implementation of the federal government policy on rice ban through the land border.
His recent promotion will no doubt further stabilize his oft belief that “everything works for good.” With just one more rank to go to attain the peak of his professional career, there is no doubt that Kirawa has found a fresh booster to continue to beat his own records, given the history of critical national assignment he has led over the years, and the one he is currently leading.
Self motivating and confident, Kirawa is a product of his inner propulsion any less a product of ideas and in-house training. In his last assignment under the last administration as one of the head of the CG Task Force at Seme axis, Kirawa conscious of the limitations neighbouring language imposed on his communication need at the franco-phone field of operation, enrolled for a French class at the prestigious French Village, Badagry Lagos, at his personal cost, just to broaden the power of his leadership role as the head of an important assignment.
Given his new assignment, Ali constitute the larger picture for his pragmatic and broad view leadership spectrum, in identifying capable and reliable hands to drive the customs operations. Even though it is impossible to rule out the man in him that is susceptible to common place primordial affinity, Ali has demonstrated a huge sense of balance that has proudly outgrown petty and narrow ethno-cultural leanings which has become a bane of national development.
With more appointees in the leadership mould of Ali, there is no doubt the country will sooner reinvent itself and quickly reconnect with the right compass to deepen the war against smugglers and revenue evaders, and thus achieve a demonstrable commitment in policing government fiscal and economic policies.  

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