By Shola Fadeyi
ACG Wale Adeniyi, Commandant, Nigerian Customs Command & Staff College , Gwagwalada, Abuja.
These days , the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), has come to epitomize a Federal Government security agency, which parades highly educated , well cultured and knowledgeable bunch of personnel, due to the international nature of its calling , which has dictated its mode of recruitment , and particularly, its focus on constant capacity building .
This is why , it is now common place to have many young, and not too old officers, distinguishing themselves in positions of responsibilities, in the Service ,and even exhibiting rare talents when in competition among themselves, and with their counterparts in other security agencies and government outfits.
One of such officers , who albeit through professionalism, hard work ,innovation, commitment , focus , strength of purpose and the ability to think out of the box , has now risen ,even past the highest professional position in the Customs- Controllership, and is now occupying a more exulted management post, is the , Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) of Customs Wale Adeniyi.
Adeniyi was promoted to that position in February , 2019 just about two weeks , after , as the Controller of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport(MMIA) , he led his team to make an unprecedented seizure of $8.07 million, over three billion naira , at the tarmac of the Airport , thus demonstrating ,industry , patriotism and sincerity of purpose.
Consequently,by virtue of that his singular but combined effort , achieved through effective use of intelligence together with his team he’s now the Commandant of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada in Abuja, where he was the Deputy Commandant , before he emerged as the Controller of the MMIA , Ikeja , Lagos.
While the dollar seizure , he made could be said to have accelerated his ascendancy to the position of an ACG , and beyond the fact that his new post is well deserved , he actually has always merited ,whatever incentives in terms of promotion among others which have come his way and the fresh ones that are expected.
This is because , he has made all his years in the Customs to count, based on the myriads of achievements he has recorded and the positive impact he has made in the lives of the younger officers in terms of inculcating in them, the art of professionalism discipline , knowledge and the virtue of commitment to the tenets of the Service.
He has been an exceptional officer , a role model , a man with knowledge , wisdom, a workaholic, a communicator, commentator , teacher , an Inspiration, , instructor , trailblazer , leader, one who utilizes humour to achieve positive purpose , a professional to the core ,an originator as well as an achiever.
In those days , Adeniyi , also a sport enthusiast , was a constant face as a commentator in most of the venues of Customs and Para Military Services games held in the country, where he ran proceedings more like a professional commentator.
ACG Adeniyi has also taken time to develop himself on the job , apart from the series of trainings and seminars on all aspects of customs within and outside the country, which he has attended, he has Masters in Communications, Public Relations among other areas , and his antecedents in these areas have been a added value to his work.
The ACG has been an asset to the Customs , more or less, a’ Jack of all trade and Master of all’.While all along he has been synonymous with the Public Relations in Customs, he has also been very knowledgeable in tariff and classification issues as well as equipped in the art of international Diplomacy .
This and many more have made it possible for him to represent the Customs within and outside the country in seminars , symposia and delivered lectures on Customs and international trade matters at the events organised by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) , World Trade Organisation(WTO) among others of such by similar relevant global bodies.
In fact , Adeniyi has been synonymous with Public Relations, Communications and Information dissemination , by virtue of his being the National Public Relations Officer(PRO) or Image Maker of the Customs for so many years.
ACG Adeniyi as Customs PRO was responsible for mentoring practically all officers who have been Public Relations Officers in Commands and Zones of the Customs, including the current ones , those in the Headquarters of the Service and the present National PRO while , they have all had good stories to tell about him.
He has never been just a customs officer , but rather a very innovative one, right from his years in the Service , when he was a Deputy Public Relations Officer in those days of Yore at the Tin Can Customs , Lagos , where Abubakar Malam , the former DCG of Customs , held sway then as the Controller(Comptroller ) of the Command..
Little wonder , the commendable character traits , which Malam saw then, in that very young but focused young officer based on the very diligent manner he carried out all the assignments given to him among other factors, made him to recommend Adeniyi to Major General SOG Ango who emerged then as the Comptroller General of Customs ,and who was in dire need of a National PRO.
Thus the very professional , unique and confident manner , in which Adeniyi comported himself and represented the Customs , within and outside the country made him to bestrode the PR Unit of the Service, like a colossus as the face , eyes and nose of that government agency for those years , during which he unprecedentedly , ended up serving not less than one military man, and six civilians who were at different times, the Customs Comptroller General.
Record has it that apart from Major General SOG Ango, ,Adeniyi was also PRO under CG Mustapha, Ogungbemile, Buba Jang, Dr Ewudialor, Ahmed Kajoli and lastly Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko.
Consequently, when the history of Public Relations in Customs is written , it would definitely be incomplete without the name and inputs of ACG Wale Adeniyi, for the professionalism he brought to the Unit and for using it to adequately protect the image of the officers and the Service .
For the fact that he has always distinguished himself in all the areas of the Customs , where he has served , it is thus not a surprise that just six months after he became the Controller of the MMIA , he intercepted the cash sealed in 20 wraps in six bags on the very day the consignment was supposed to be moved out of the country.
ACG Adeniyi has indeed proved that he ‘s not only a child of destiny , as he has by that single seizure of the dollars , attracted more of the attention of the Customs CG, Hameed Ali (rtd), the national Assembly and the Presidency to himself in a very positive manner , particularly with the comprehensive publicity which followed the incident.
However since he’s one who will continue to be his natural very hard working self , more so , that he’s now occupying an enviable position, time will tell as it concerns fresh responsibilities required of him in the Customs , as avenues to further contribute to the development of Nigeria’s economy.