ShareTweetEmail0sharesFEATURE STORY   By Shola Fadeyi   Comptroller ‘Kayode Olusemire, Controller  Customs FOU , Zone ‘C’, Owerri.   Indeed, the contributions of the Nigerian... Comptr  Olusemire: Deploying Enforcement in Recovery of Customs Revenue

FEATURE STORY

 

By Shola Fadeyi

 

Comptr Olusemire

Comptroller ‘Kayode Olusemire, Controller  Customs FOU , Zone ‘C’, Owerri.

 

Indeed, the contributions of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in the areas of revenue generation, anti smuggling and interpreting as well as implementing the Federal Government’s fiscal policies cannot be over- emphasized. The fact that the Service is considered as the second highest source of revenue generation, after oil, underscores its strategic importance to the economy.

Enforcement

In fact, the anti- smuggling duty of the Customs, beyond assisting to stop dangerous non- compliant goods or contraband from being imported into the country, and thus safe guarding the health and life of the citizenry, has also served as a veritable avenue, of ensuring that revenue that would have been lost are recovered, while insincere importers are forced to tow the part of the right duty payment on goods.

Despite various efforts of the Customs in combating smuggling , the fact that the Federal Government has to again closed its  borders with Nigeria’s neighboring countries,  has shown that smuggling is an hydra headed monster,  which is an Herculean Task to curtail , particularly  with the existence of hostile  countries , which have been aiding the vice.

Thus, in spite of the vast nature of Nigeria’s borders, and in the face of inadequate logistics for  the Customs to work with ,and the loss of personnel  in the course of duty, the officers, particularly the ones   in various Units of the Service  among others who have enforcement responsibilities,  have nevertheless ,continued to exhibit patriotism , as well as  trudged on  to ensure that  smuggling is tamed.

Capability

One of such key anti smuggling organs of the Customs is the Federal Operations Unit , Zone ‘C ‘which is  in charge of the towns, cities and borders  in the Eastern   part of Nigeria,   and where Comptroller Olukayode Olusemire has been making waves , recording  unusual and large scale seizures and instilling fears  to smugglers  for the past two years or thereabouts due to his capability .

The fact is that the story of Nigeria Customs Service anti-smuggling operations will be inconclusive without the mention of Comptroller Kayode Olusemire.Despite that he has been moving mountains in enforcement, Olusemire  is also  a wizard  in revenue and tariff , a talent he has utilized in the PTML  Customs Command, in Lagos  among other areas, to safe government from losing revenue  through classifications.

Uniqueness

Olusemire who was deployed to  Owerri, in August 2018 ,  was  the Customs Area Controller  of the Kaduna/Katsina Command; where he boosted its  revenue generation through enforcement of compliance and robust anti smuggling which brought most of the smugglers to their kneels.

But just like in any group , association or institution , where the head  or the leadership matters most  , the Controllership of Olusemire   at the FOU , Zone ‘C’  has indeed been remarkable , unique and of immense benefits to the Customs, the Federal Government and even the economy, in terms of revenue recovery , security to  the nation and the well- being of the citizenry.

Revenue recovery/ Seizures

This is due to the unprecedented recovery of billions of naira that Comptroller Olusemire has led his personnel to achieve  for the economy in terms of unpaid duty , the seizure of expired and contaminated goods, such as hundreds of thousands of bags of rice, Poultry products among others and the seizure of arms and ammunitions as well as security equipment and armoured vehicles.

For instance , his Unit generated a total of N591million as Duty Paid Value(DPV)  on 22 seized vehicles, including eight bullet proof exotic cars and 1,901 bags of contraband rice, late last year, impounded  1,920 bags of 50 kgs  of smuggled rice  , drugs,used clothings among others , worth N492 million in October 2019, while between June and August , 2019, it   seized 16 exotic cars , including an armoured land cruiser, rice and other  illegal goods with DPV of N501 million.

The Unit also impounded N46m worth of two sets of home furniture, loaded in Volvo trucks in April last year, while in  December  2019, it  seized   assorted brands of cars , used tyres among others, worth about N182 m in Duty.This is apart from the various seizures it made in 2018 .

Arrests/ Prosecution

The anti smuggling  battle of Olusemire  FOU, Zone ‘C’   has also been unique  in the sense that it has mostly led to the arrest of culprits  or suspects , in the form of  smugglers , drivers of vehicles that were used to smuggle items  among others and as such their prosecution  so as to serve as deterrent to others.

Collaboration/ Planning

Comptroller Olusemire’s    successes, apart from his doggedness, vast experience from positions , he has occupied and assignments he has undertaken in the Customs, have however not been devoid of his virtue  of hard work, adequate planning , collaboration with other security agencies , reliance on intelligence , information and the support of committed personnel

Enlightenment

Relying on his ability to easily bond with people, he has also been able to create synergy and understanding with the Obis ,  Chiefs and other title holders, through his programme of enlightenment on the dangers of smuggling and used them as opinion leaders , in his  Unit’s area of operations , as they have become  supportive and reliable in the fight against smuggling.

It is however remarkable that much as the Controller loathes smugglers , whom he refers to as the enemies of the nation and economy saboteurs, he has nevertheless been very cautious  of the virtue of   trade facilitation  in all  the Unit’s activities, while  , he has ensured that his Unit is faithful with constant sensitization of all the stakeholders in this direction.

Compliance

He has also  continued to appeal to  Nigerians to be compliant in the payment  of duties  for their imported goods, whether they are luxuries , like exotic cars or those that fall in the essential basket of needs, while they should cease to import illegal goods or contraband , with an assurance that recalcitrant importers or smugglers would continue to be nabbed by the FOU, Zone ‘C’, under his watch.

 

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