By DAPO OLAWUNI
There were lots of commendations for the outgoing Area Controller of Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Compt Muhammed Abba-Kura as the command yesterday commissioned a new clinic and refurbished gym centre.
The Zonal Coordinator ‘Zone A’, of Customs, Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) Kaycee Ekekezie who was on ground to commission the project lauded the Area Controller for giving the command a general face lift and improving on what he met on ground.
Ekekezie commended Abba-Kura for transforming the command from the usual old “ancient” look into a modern command.
The Zonal Coordinator expressed delight on the refurbished gym, even as he urged officers to take exercise very seriously in order to ensure mental alertness, she said many people are dying because of lack of exercise.
She equally commended the new clinic developed by Abba-Kura, noting that it was a good initiative to ensure officers and stakeholders health is prioritized.
“Abba-Kura, you have done well, I also appreciate the officers for giving him support to achieve so much at the command”
“At the Zonal level, I usually get complaints from various Commands but very few came from the Apapa Command throughout the leadership of Abba-Kura. Stakeholders interest and views must be respected because the relationship is like a marriage. Due procedures must be followed to guarantee compliance and boost trade facilitation,” she said.
She assured the freight forwarders that as long as they are compliant, their jobs will be facilitated; even as she assured that reports made to the Zonal office on overzealous Customs officers will be treated seriously.
“If the out-going Area Controller isn’t a clean person, you wouldn’t have this level of tidyness. This is what encouraged officers to meet and surpass the targets given to the Command last year. Officers should always endeavour to make positive changes everywhere they find themselves. This Command is looking different and it has taken its position as premier port in terms of cleanliness and orderliness,” she opined.
The Zonal Coordinator also assured the freight forwarders that as long as they remain compliant, their jobs will be facilitated; even as she vowed that reports made to the Zonal office on overzealous Customs officers will be treated seriously.
After inspecting the clinic, she stated that blood pressure and blood sugar tests should be done frequently, especially for officers above 50 years.
“80% of the revenue for the Zone comes from Apapa. This structure has been in place since 1998 and it was abandoned until someone came up to effectively manage the space and refurbish the place. You have a full gym and a new clinic for stakeholders and officers. We are recommending this type of structures in every Area Command in the Zone,” the Zonal boss added.
Abba-Kura, who has just been promoted to an Acting Assistant Comptroller General (ACG), Customs Headquarters, stated that officers of the Command will use the gym to keep fit to enable them stay alert and do their jobs the way they ought to.
He noted that one of the NCS doctors had stressed the need to have a new clinic to address some health issues before evacuating sick officers or stakeholders to the main clinic at Warehouse Road, in Apapa.
His words: “We are first in everything. Number one in revenue, anti-smuggling and everything. I’ll call on my successor to maintain this success and make efforts to surpass it.”
“With the congestion in Apapa, there could be emergencies in the Command that may be fatal if such persons are subjected to the traffic situation before getting to the hospital in Warehouse Road, Apapa. We have this clinic to address emergencies before evacuating them to the hospital,” he added.