Ogun Customs Uses Festival of Arts to promote Economic Development, National Security

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By Innocent Orok

Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service in collaboration with Integration Art Palace and Tour Company has put together a Festival of Art for Economic Development programme.

The programme which is the 3rd edition with the theme: “The Role of Nigeria Customs Service in Economic Development and National Security”, commenced on Saturday, February 10, 2024 through Wednesday, February 14, 2024 making it a five days event.

In a press statement issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs Hammed Oloyede on behalf of the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Shuaibu Ahmadu, the event was attended by participants from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Yaba College of Technology, and selected Secondary Schools in Ipokia Local Government Area, of Ogun State among others.

The press statement states that on the first day, participants paid homage to the Oniko of Ikolaje Idiroko, Oba John Olakunle Ojo JP, while on the second day, Sunday, February 11, 2024, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Hammed Oloyede, took the participants on a tour of Sentry Customs House, where seized vehicles, petroleum products, and perishable items were warehoused.

They later proceeded to the destruction site for seized frozen poultry products and the circumstances surrounding the seizure of prohibited items were explicitly explained to the participants.

On the third day, the event witnessed a symposium held in the Conference room of the Command’s Headquarters and dignitaries in attendance included the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Ogun 1 Area Command, Comptroller Ahmadu Shuaibu, his management team, Director of DSS, Mr. IK Ikiriko, heads of other agencies, and the Deputy Mayor of Ifoyin Municipality, Igolo, Republic of Benin.

Delivering his welcome address, Compt. Shauibu commended the organizer, Dr. Bonny Botoku, for his initiative. While, also congratulating the participants, especially the younger ones for the opportunity to participate. He described the programme as a panacea for youth restiveness and encouraged the development of skills in creative art.

Comptroller Shuaibu also emphasized the importance of creative art in attracting tourists and as a viable means of livelihood. He however reassured continuous support from the Command for the festivals sustainability.

In his speech, the programme initiator, Dr. Bonny A. Botoku, stated that his passion for art inspired him to initiate the festival to encourage the younger generation interested in it.

He mentioned the careful selection of event dates, especially Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2024, to celebrate youth in a more constructive manner aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancies. Dr Bonny explained that his collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is due to its significant contributions to the economy and national security.

On his part the guest speaker at the symposium, Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Emmanuella Chukwu, highlighted the core functions of NCS, including revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, facilitation of lawful trade, and security of the nation’s borders.

She identified various revenue generated from import duties, excise duties, auction sales, and export proceeds as parts of the way NCS contributes to the development of the nation.

She emphasized NCS’s role in anti-smuggling activities and counter-terrorism efforts as a means through which it contributes to national security.

Highlights of the event on the February 14th 2024 at the Integration Art Palace and Tour cultural center in Idiroko. was the presentation of
Certificates to participants by the Customs Area Controller, represented by Deputy Comptroller Administration, DC Charles Ogunbesan.

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