BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
Erstwhile Customs Controller of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, now Acting Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) of Customs, Albashir Hamisu psc+ Wednesday gave way to Comptroller MI Jalo, appointed to takeover affairs of the Unit, also known as Kangiwa House, following the recent routine shakeup.
The Ag ACG appointed Commandant of the Customs Staff College (CSC) Gwagwalada during the nadover ceremony charged Officers/Men of the Unit to continue to display competence and professionalism, and to remain courteous and yet firm, without losing their dignity.
This is even as the new occupant of Kangiwa House, Comptroller Jalo promised to maintain the legacy of his predecessor, even as he task principal officers of the unit to work hard to keep up with the wide margin being left behind by ACG Hamisu.
A statement by the Unit Public Relations Officer, SC I Suleiman, the outgoing Controller while thanking operatives for the support he enjoyed, admonished them to desist from comparing leaders, and urged them to focus on the prevailing work style, noting that effort at comparison will be counterproductive, since leadership styles are often different.
The statement reads: “Comptroller MI Jalo has today 27 January 2023 took over the mantle of leadership of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘B’ Kaduna as the 22nd Comptroller of the Unit.
“The Outgoing Comptroller during the handing and taking over at the Unit’s Headquarters in Kaduna charged the Officers/Men to be civil and polite while on patrol duties; reminding the Officers to be patriotic and truthful at all times.
“The Ag. ACG advised them to avoid comparing leaders because every human has his inherent strength and weaknesses. He commended and appreciated the Officers/Men for their cooperation and unwavering support throughout his tenure and urged them to extend same to the new Comptroller”, adding:
“The new Comptroller promised to maintain the legacy of his predecessor and charged Officers/Men to work hard to achieve maximum result.”
It will be recalled that Jalo’s office recently came under the news flash when an operative, Owombo Segun John raised the alarm about massive fuel smuggling in tankers crossing into neigbhouring countries of Niger and Cameroun, purportedly with the support of the management of FOU Zone D.
According to Owombo, a Superintendent of Customs, in an incriminating video narrated how he arrested some of the tankers on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at Malabo Checkpoint along Belel Road, Adamawa state; but claimed he was prevailed upon by senior officers to release the tankers and the suspects.
In November 2019, the NCS announced a directive that restricted petroleum products from being supplied to fuel stations within 20 kilometres of the borders. Officer Omombo was later arrested on the orders of the management of the customs service and reportedly transferred to the headquarters, Abuja. The unfortunate officer was later to be labeled as mentally unstable by the customs management.
While his condition remains unknown, Jalo the erstwhile FOU Zone D boss has been rewarded with Kangiwa House, which is a busier customs trade zone regarded as the economic artery of northern region.
Only recently, the Customs Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) while lamenting the ugly reality of fuel smuggling across the nation’s land borders, have had cause to draw the flak with the leadership of the Nigerian national Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), now NNPL.
Col. Ali condemned in strong terms perceived smuggling of the products from NNPC controlled depots, just as he opposed supply of fuel to border locations, a situation believed to have caused untold hardship amongst border communities and peoples.
Earlier, the management of the NCS subjected two ACGs to in-house trial over alleged involvement in fuel smuggling charges. At the end of the in-house orderly trial, one not only lost his commission, he was dismissed with ignominy, while the second escaped with compulsory retirement.
It is also noteworthy, that while the customs in-house whistle blower, right under the CGC’s nose, apparently appears forgotten, some of the accused are basking in the glee of a special reward system that is patently Nigerian.