Comptroller Olumu Babatunde, says no negotiable for smuggling, promises to implement customs Act.


Comptroller Babatunde Olomu has assumed duty today Monday, May 6th 2024, as the new Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, succeeding Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, after completing his 35 years of service.

Speaking shortly after taking over the helm of affair of the Command, Comptroller Olomu Babatunde, declared war on smuggling vow to implement customs Act while promising to promote a robust relationship with customs stakeholders in the rules of engagement.

He promised to ensure full implementation of all provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, the Common External Tariff (CET), import and export prohibition guidelines, and other books of instruction.

He said, “I see my task as CAC Apapa command as a serious assignment from the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi of which our only option is to deliver diligently not only in revenue collection, fight against smuggling, but in trade facilitation and sustainable stakeholder engagement.

“My assumption of this office is with a mind of confidence that we won’t betray the trust reposed in us by the Federal government, CGC and the entire management of the Nigeria Customs Service. This confidence is premised on the reality that I am taking over a very organized command, where I intend to build on the successes of my predecessor.

New Apapa CAC, Olomu declares zero tolerance for smuggling, vows to implement customs Act

“Let me state unequivocally that we shall implement all the provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, the Common External Tariff, import and export prohibition guidelines, and other books of instruction as directed by the Federal government.

“While promoting a robust customs community relation system where there will be regular interface with all government and private sector stakeholders, i shall upscale our enforcement with intelligence to ensure that only legitimate trade is allowed in Apapa Port and all the terminals within the command.”

Olomu noted 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.

“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 said.

Olomu advised the Command’s officers to adopt a working principle to treat all official matters speedily; adding that no no file be left unattended to as such delay 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.

Earlier in his farewell speech, the immediate past Controller, Comptroller Jaiyeoba extended his appreciation to the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, for the opportunity to serve at Nigeria’s flagship customs command.

“My tour of duty as Area Controller of Apapa Command ends after 8 months, it gives me great joy to recall the very suspense filled and exciting moments of goals achieved day by day, week by week and month by month culminating into tangible results for the benefit of our great country and her economy.

“When I assumed office in September 2023, the assurances of support I received from officers and men on ground strengthened me and I can boldly say all we achieved during my period are products of teamwork.

“I won’t also take the cooperation of our sister agencies and stakeholders for granted. We jointly worked to achieve our individual organizational goals and collective interest of making Apapa port import and export friendly without undermining national security,” Jaiyeoba said.

Reeling out some of his achievements, he said the command under his watch generated a revenue collection of N672. 2 billion between January and April 2024.

He said in the month of April, the Command generated N182billion, which according to him is unprecedented in the history of the Command.

“In 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.

“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 for him. His success is our common benefit. For over three decades, I have known him to be a team player and result-oriented officer,” he said.

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