Comptroller Olomu Urges Officers to brace up for implantation of WCO Tools, Takeover at Apapa Customs

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Comptroller Babatunde Olomu (l) in a handshake with outgoing Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba at Apapa Customs during the handing and taking over at the Command on Monday.

By Innocent Orok

The new Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Apapa Port Command, Comptroller Babatunde Olomu, has called on officers of the Command to brace up for the implementation of some modern Customs tools as contained in the new NCS Act.

Olomu said this while taking over the leadership of the Apapa flagship Command on Monday from the retiring Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba.

Olomu identified Nigeria’s participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and robust engagements with port stakeholders, as his major goals and promised to upscale the standard achieved by his predecessor.

He maintained that Nigeria holds a strategic position for trade in West and Central Africa and assured that the Apapa Port will play a critical role in Nigeria’s participation in the AfCFTA.

His words: “We are revving Nigeria’s readiness for improved trade with fellow African countries and the world at large. As you may be aware, the management of the Service is committed to evolving a more modern customs with Apapa Port being a nucleus to the implementation of the many trade facilitation reforms championed by the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR.

“I want to urge our officers to brace up for the changes that will feature as fallouts of Customs modernization, otherwise called e-customs, AEO, and many other groundbreaking World Customs Organization (WCO) innovations like the recently introduced Advanced Ruling policy. This will enable them to enjoy more gains of trading across borders in the global supply chain in line with the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), the WCO Supply Chain Management Guidelines, and the various national best practices.”

He, however, advised the Command’s officers to adopt a working principle to treat all official matters speedily; adding that no file should be left unattended to as such delays could mean slowing down government revenue inflow.

“I shall set up a trade dispute resolution seat that will operate every day including weekends to ensure that we make this Command a true front liner in global best practices in terms of customs operation for other customs formations to emulate.

“Being the customs command handling the largest volume of trade in Nigeria, Apapa Command under my leadership won’t be complacent and will be open to continuous engagement with everyone. My doors are open for advice on how best to achieve our mandate because we are all here to add value and do better,” Olomu stated.

In his farewell address,the outgoing Area Controller, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba had earlier, his described his eight months tenure as Area Controller of Apapa Command as joyful and suspense-filled experience, characterized by exciting moments culminating into tangible results for the benefit of the nation.

Jaiyeoba reeled out some achievements in 2024, saying that “Between January and April 2024, the Apapa Command of NCS collected a total of N672,172,624,033.03 as revenue for the federal government. We have set the ball rolling for the actualization of our target and the officers am leaving behind are focused on this. My optimism is not misplaced because we have all proven to be tested and trusted.

“It is noteworthy, to explain that in the month of April 2024 alone, the command generated N182 billion which is a record-breaking monthly collection in the history of the service. On February 23, 2024, we recorded revenue collection milestone by generating N16,021,660,412.00. This daily collection strengthened our cumulative figure. These are laudable developments coming at a time the port is not enjoying its full import trade potentials owing to so many factors,”

He thanked his officers for relentlessly pursuing maximum collection of duty by preventing leakages, fighting against smuggling and ensuring that complaint traders enjoyed hitch free clearance under customs control under his leadership.

“I want to implore all our officers, sister government agencies and stakeholders to join me in formally welcoming Comptroller Olomu. Let’s triple or possibly, quadruple the cooperation and support I got from you . His success is for our common benefit. For over three decades, I have known him to be a team player and result-oriented officer,” Jaiyeoba posited.

Jaiyeoba who attributed the successes of the Command to all officers with special mention of the officers at the scanning site , who according to him refused to compromised on the Non – intrusion cargo examination.

Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba retired after successfully serving 35 years in the NCS.

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