MINNA CUSTOMS AREA COMMAND HITS BULL'S EYE
At the moment, the Customs Area Comptroller (CAC) for Niger, Kwara and Kogi Area command, Alhaji Aminu Dangaladima and his men are flying high. Recently, the command impounded a trailer loaded with 1500 cartons of suspected fake drugs in Niger State. According to Dangaladima, the driver of the vehicle with registration number XC 527 MAG escaped while his motor boy, Bello Aliyu was apprehended on the spot.
The seized goods had market value of N10m while the importer was supposed to have paid N11m import duties to the Federal government.
The arrest took place along the Dikko/Suleja road when men of the Customs Service intercepted the vehicle.
The Area Controller said the vehicle was driven to the command's headquarters in Minna where physical inspection of the goods was carried out. It was discovered that none of them had NAFDAC registration number.
He said the incident was promptly reported to the Customs Headquarters which directed that the 'fake drugs' be handed over to NAFDAC.
Among the drugs seized were 184 cartons of antiseptic soap, 52 cartons of calcium tablets, 100 cartons of Optalidon, 97 cartons of Septrin tablets and 400 cartons of Ostnim as well as 52 cartons of Strepsils and 100 cartons of Nystatin.
The seizure also included 115 cartons of Chloroquine tablets, 30 cartons of Augumentin in powder form, 42 cartons each of Encephabol, Glucophage 39 cartons of Amplicox capsules and 29 cartons of Amoxil in powder form and 17 cartons of Ativan.
Dangaladima said the seized goods were handed over to NAFDAC as directed by the Headquarters.
He said the handing over was in the spirit of inter-departmental co-operation, pointing out that his command would continue to liaise with other government agencies in order to rid the country of criminal activities in whatever form.
Within the first seven months of this year, the command had collected over N141million, which represented 79% of the total revenue target given to the command by the management of the service for the year 2011.
The command's Public Relations Officer, DSC Felix Asiku who disclosed this to Daily Sun in Minna said the amount represented 114% of the amount collected same time last year.
Asiku said the command was able to achieve the feat because of the ability of CAC Dangaladima to adhere to the public sector management principles of managerial efficiency, accountability, transparency and the effective use of best available human and material resources spearheaded by the Comptroller-General, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde.
According to Asiku, CAC Dangaladima brought innovations to the command's operations by constituting a revenue generation and anti smuggling committee, which is saddled with the responsibility of setting monthly revenue and anti-smuggling targets for various outstations in the command.
On his arrival at his new duty post in Minna, Dangaladima had embarked on familiarisation visits to sister para-military outfits in Niger State as well as visits to Customs outstations in Niger, Kwara and Kogi States.
At the places visited, Dangaladima advocated for greater inter-service interactions and co-operations among heads and men of various military and paramilitary services to enhance better understanding and avoid areas of friction.
CAC Dangaladima made this call in Minna, Niger State when he paid courtesy calls on a number of military and paramilitary establishments in Minna at the commencement of his familiarisation tour of border stations and outstations under his command and visits to sister organisations.
Speaking at Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) headquarters in Minna, the customs boss expressed delight at the opportunity to interact, familiarise, socialise, and acquaint himself with the officers of the army command.
'We can do things together when we know and interact with each other,' he noted. He expressed appreciation over the healthy working relationship between the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Customs in the state, promising the continued co-operation, support and assistance of his command and the army command
Responding, the TRADOC Commander, Major General J. A. Okunbor described the visit of the customs boss as remarkable, saying he was the first head of any paramilitary service in Niger State to pay him a courtesy visit, pointing out that his command was established in 1991 as the think-tank of the Nigerian Army.
Dangaladima made similar visits to the 313 Artillery Brigade where he solicited the co-operation between his command and the Brigade command. The Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Del Yakubu described the visit of the Customs boss as a privilege and honour to him.
Also at the Niger State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Dangaiadima expressed similar sentiments, saying he was at the agency to further cement the good relationship it has maintained with the customs in the state and seek further co-operation.
Commander of the agency, Alhaji Abdul Abdullahi assured the Customs Comptroller of continuous co-operation between NDLEA and Customs and enjoined the CAC to feel free to reach him at any time and on any issue.
Dangaladima also paid similar visits to the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) where he called for greater co-operation between his command and the paramilitary services in the state.
Heads of the two organisations, Comptroller Sani Sada (Immigration) and Commandant U. Billie (NSCDC) thanked the Customs boss for the visits.
The CAC also visited outstations in Niger, Kwara and Kogi States. At the Chikanda Border station in Kwara State, the community leaders expressed delight at the visit of CAC Dangaladima, describing it as the first in a long time. The same sentiment was expressed at the Babana and Wawa Border stations in Niger State. He equally visited the Excise factories in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Assistant Comptrollers A. A. Buhari and Chibado Mohammed were among the officers on the entourage of the Customs Area Commander.
At each of the border stations, Dangaladima urged the customs men to remain totally committed and loyal to the Nigeria Customs Service and to the federal government.
He assured them that issues affecting their welfare were being looked into with a view to solving them, stressing that the service under the able leadership of the Comptroller-General, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde would leave no stone unturned to further improve their working and living condition