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CUSTOMS COLLEGE: ANOTHER FEATHER TO DIKKO'S CAP

By NBF News
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The purpose of establishing the Nigeria Customs service in 1889 was to facilitate trade and police our borders to prevent entry of contra-band goods. As government approved tax collectors, the Nigerian Customs collected taxes on goods brought in from other countries and pay into the government purse; hence the department is the second revenue earner to the Nation after oil.

Before now, many rated the customs as the most corrupt government agency, but with the coming on board of Alhaji (Dr) Abdulahi Inde Dikko (OFR), the perception of the service by most Nigerians changed because of the reforms carried out by the customs boss. However the recent approval of the Customs College, Gwagwalada, by the World Customs Organization (WCO), to serve as regional college for Western and Central Africa is a laudable achievement by Dikko to put the Nigerian Customs service in the global picture.

Irrespective of obstacles or challenges he met when he assumed office, Dikko knew that one who overcomes obstacles is the one who persists until he succeeds. Dikko had incurred the wrath of many in the process of carrying out reforms including certificate scandal. He remained undaunted. Many people had called for my head after reading previous articles I wrote on Dikko. But I have been justified that Abdulahi Dikko meant well for the Nigeria Customs service when the Federal Government under the able leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan approved the purchase of 400 Toyota Hilux Vehicles for the patrolling of borders and by so doing the customs is now well equipped to check importation of arms and explosives even now that Boko Haram and they seem to have vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable.

Meanwhile to those who are calling for Dikko's removal, I want to refresh their mind on other achievements of Dikko during the short period he has piloted the affairs of the customs. One of the most outsanding achievements of that his regime came to the on Thursday March 31st 2011 when His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan laid the foundation stone of 240 units of owner - occupier Houses for middle cadre officers of the Customs service and 120 units fully furnished single 4 bedrooms, Goodluck Jonathan Customs Barracks Kuje Abuja.

Moreover in the area of revenue generation, in the Eastern Port revenue is raising, seizures are pouring in and had hit the one billion Naira mark from demand. Abdulahi Dikko ensured that 100 per cent salary increases for the officers of the Customs are paid.

•Dickson Okafor
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