CHANGE OF BATON: Compt Olomu Reads Riot Act to Apapa Customs Officers, Says No Document Must be Left Untreated for 24hrs


Apapa Customs Area Controller, Compt Babatunde Olomu


Comptroller Babatunde Olomu has assumed duty as the new Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, suceeding Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, who bowed out on Monday, May 6th, 2024 after 35 years of service.

New Apapa Customs Controller, Comptroller Babatunde Olomu ( left) shortly after taking over the leadership of the command from the immediate past Controller, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba at the command in Lagos on Monday.

Speaking shortly after taking over the baton of leadership at the Command, Comptroller Olomu read the Riot Act to officers of the command, warning that no customs officer must delay files or leave documents untreated for 24 hours.

“As a working principle, i advise officers to treat all official matters with the speed they deserve, because leaving them untouched will definitely slow down government revenue.

“We must ensure that within 24hours, any files or documents is speedily attended to” he warned

He said his administration would establish a trade dispute seat that would operate even on weekends in other to ensure that the Apapa command takes the frontline in global practices in terms of customs operations.

Olomu equally declared ‘zero tolerance for smuggling of prohibited items, concealment, and declaration for duty evasion, while promising to promote a robust customs stakeholders 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.

“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.

“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.

3 thoughts on “CHANGE OF BATON: Compt Olomu Reads Riot Act to Apapa Customs Officers, Says No Document Must be Left Untreated for 24hrs

  1. U are the best controller I have ever seen in my lifetime… God bless ur hardwork sir!!

    1. Thank you so much sir. God will bless you and your family, especially your children. All we beg you is to hasten the clearance of containers., reduce the charges because revenue comes more when there is more containers. Delay and high cost of clearance of containers have made so many bodies abandon their containers. And some gave up the business. That is loss of government revenue. God bless you sir as you have decided to make a difference.

  2. Timed release protocol. The right people are taking over the reins of Customs management and administration. From the CG to those he appoints to superintend the Ports, trade facilitation and ease of doing business which does not diminish the services’ capacity to achieve set revenue targets becomes a reality. That way everyone wins. Comptroller Olomu’s directives to his officer to treat every document before them with dispatch is timely. One only hope that disingenuous officers do not interpret his admonition to mean to keep every document for 24 hours before passing it on to another who will keep it for another 24 hours. The new Apapa helmsman I understand meant that correctly declared consignment that paid appropriate duty should be able to depart the Port or at least be released by Customs less than 24 hours after examination.

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