Customs CG Charges New Recruits on Professionalism in Weapon Handling
By Jerry Aguigbo
The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has charged the newly recruited officers to imbibe the culture of handling their firearms properly as they wrap up their regimental training.
Adeniyi made this call on Thursday, 21st September 2023, during the Passing Out Parade (POP) for 956 General Duty Junior Personnel who completed their Basic Course 1/2023 at Customs Training College, Goron Dutse, Kano.
The CGC, who congratulated the new officers on their POP, urged them to be good ambassadors of the Service — by way of protecting its integrity and reputation while discharging their constitutional duties.
He also charged them to showcase a sense of professionalism in weapons handling and eschew misuse of firearms while also improving their human relations, adding that “the era of filing rampant cases of the shooting of innocent Nigerians has passed. Treat everyone with absolute respect and fairness.”
While assuring Nigerians that the Service will not relent in taking stiffer action on any officer who fails to respect the rights of the citizens, adding that “you are expected to serve your nation with diligence, be presentable discipline-wise and in appearance, while also maintaining the highest level of integrity at all times.
According to him,
“Upholding these values is not just a duty but also a necessity. Therefore, always be smart in appearance, for it reflects the pride you take in your role as customs officers. Be the embodiment of excellence and service in every aspect of your conduct.”
In his words, “The Service has strong expectations of you to contribute in revenue generation and the fight against smuggling – while also practising what you learned to counter their illegal businesses.”
The CGC, who was pleased with the display of tactical approaches by the recruits, clearly told them, “It is upon your shoulders that the responsibility of meeting the aspirations of our great nation rests. I want you to be mindful that your recruitment into the Nigeria Customs Service was merit-based.
“You are expected to serve your nation with diligence, discipline, and the highest level of integrity at all times. Upholding these values is not just a duty but a necessity. Always be smart in appearance, for it reflects the pride you take in your role as customs officers. Be the embodiment of excellence and service in every aspect of your conduct.
“In the course of your careers, you will be exposed to further training in various areas, including regimentation and weapon handling. I emphasize the need to study the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) diligently and take them seriously. These SOPs are your guide to ensuring effective customs operations.”
Speaking on how the Service has gone far in using advanced technology in carrying out its duties, the Acting Comptroller-General said, “We are living in extraordinary times where technology plays a pivotal role in customs operations. As you join the Customs Service at this juncture, your role in this digital era is crucial.”
He urged them to develop a deep understanding of technological advancements and leverage them to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Comptroller Adeniyi who later granted interviews to journalists, called on Nigerians to support the investment policies that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu implements, expressing hope that it will end economic sabotage and smuggling in the country.
He said, “When you look at some of the policies that he has taken in terms of making businesses thrive, bringing in investors and things like that—so when you have investors, and we have these efforts to rebuild our economy, then there would be no room for smugglers or those who want to sabotage us.”
He maintained that the fight against smugglers and their nefarious activities remains the business of all patriotic Nigerians, adding that he has been visiting border communities across the country with a view to discussing with them on collaborative efforts to end smuggling in the country.
He, however, saluted the efforts of General Duty Officers on the parade, saying, “We had a very beautiful parade – which shows that they are well-trained. It shows their capacity to handle situations. It shows comportment. It shows physical endurance. It also demonstrates resilience.”
In his remarks, the Commandant of the Customs Training College, Comptroller Rasheed Adahunse, said, “These Junior Officers graduating today were found suitable in learning and character. It is pertinent to state that this Basic Course 1/2023 commenced on the 22nd of March, 2023, and the skills displayed by the graduands were mastered within this short period along with academic activities.
“The training graduates covered topics on Enforcement, Revenue, Valuation, Export and Import Procedures, Passenger Selection, Parcel Post, Administration, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Civil Relations and many other courses, to mention but a few. Examinations were conducted to ascertain their level of assimilation and were also graded.”
The Commandant, who described the regimentation of the 2023 General Duty Staff as a success, also said that “to master the drills and excel in academic activities within six months is an excellent achievement on the part of the committed and dedicated trainers as well as the graduands.
“I would like to show my sincere gratitude to the Ag. CGC for creating time to attend this great occasion despite his tight schedules and for providing all the necessary approvals in good time, leading to the success of this exercise.”