The Comptroller General (CG) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Dikko Inde has appointed Johnson Gabriel as new Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Western Marine Command of the service.
This is coming on the heels of the retirement of the immediate past CAC of the command, Comptroller Audu Zakkat who bowed out of service few weeks ago after clocking the mandatory 35 years in service.
The outgoing CAC has since been directed to hand over the affairs of the command to Johnson, who for two years have been the Officer-in-Charge of Operations of the command and believed to be one of the best professional marine officers left standing.
In addition to serving as the OC Operations, Johnson was also Zakkat’s Personal Assistant, a position that afforded him an overview of the command, while occasionally also holding fort at such times the CAC was not on seat.
This afforded him the practical atmosphere to understudy his former boss, mastering the administrative and managerial demands of the office in terms of the efficient deployment of manpower and material resources.
Obviously, this has accounted for the Dikko’s decision to put Johnson in control pending the appointment of a substantive CAC. One cardinal policy thrust of the Dikko led administration has been the focus on competence and capability in the personal drive and initiatives of officers to assume positions of responsibilities and to deliver on set objectives and goals of government in terms of the customs anti-smuggling and revenue collection core functions.
It is not surprising that in the past five years where appointments into command headship has been spread between the intermediates and comptroller rank, command efficiency has more than doubled. This approach has continued to raise the bar in terms of overall performances of the customs service. Under this dynamic appointment system, the Customs Administration Academy, Gwagwalada at the FCT Abuja now has a Comptroller as the Academy Commandant, which before now, was exclusively reserved for the Assistant Comptroller General rank.
Recall that the World Customs Organization recently, following its careful evaluation of the state of the art academy, endorsed it as world class and accredited it as the WCO centre of training for middle level management officers upwards, for West and Central Africa. This is believed to have raised the academy’s capacity and administrative capability and competence.
Similar appointments have continually upped the success story of the customs core functions and national mandate. Officers like Comptroller Yusuf Umar, then Deputy Comptroller who was posted to assume control of then dead Ekiti\Ondo Command, infused life into the place less than four months record time.
DC Victor Dimka is another marvel in enforcement appointed by Dikko, and who have remained a decimal in the consciousness of the nation. DC Richard Oteri is yet another of such appointees who have held fort beautifully at the Oyo/Osun command. DC Turaki of the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Ikeja is the most recent of such appointees, through which Dikko has made very bold statements in the area of stemming the seemingly unbridled anti-economic scenario with high net worth resources.
The nation also witnessed the crop of very junior officers who have assumed trainer positions in ICT knowledge in the service, all of which is part of the dynamism Dikko has brought to bear in the past five years.
Years back, only very senior officer rank gets this far, which also was believed to have fertilize the breeding ground for unconscious decline in productivity and efficiency.
Reacting to Johnson’s temporary appointment, stakeholders lauded Dikko as a pragmatic leader, noting that this bold act of identifying resourceful and competent hands remain the hallmark of leadership rebirth in both the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian public service. Like all the appointees before him, it can only be imagined that Johnson will also prove Dikko right as a leader of strong foresight with positive hunch for the best available hands, which has already sounded him out as one of the nation’s frontline economic builders.
With his pedigree as an astute marine officer and his rich experiences as a former PA and the OC Operations, for Chief Superintendent Johnson, the sky is the limit. Already, less than a week in office, he has recorded an impressive seizure of about 170 bags of 50kg rice, with a Duty paid Value of more than one million naira.