By; MUHAMMAD BASHIR
The announcement of Bashir Adewale Adeniyi’s appointment as the Acting Comptroller General of Customs for the Nigeria Customs Service while he was on an official assignment at the World Customs Organization (WCO) Policy Commission and Council Session in Brussels was met with jubilation, not just among Customs officers but also by Nigerians and the international community. This move has injected fresh hope into the organization and raised expectations for transformative leadership.
Adeniyi’s rise to this pivotal position is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his career, which spans an impressive three decades. His journey began with remarkable promise, and he consistently proved himself through dedication and excellence. From his early days as the Customs Public Relations Officer to his significant roles at the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College in Gwagwalada, Abuja, Adeniyi steadily built a reputation for outstanding performance.
His appointment as Acting Comptroller General was no coincidence; it was the culmination of a career marked by dedication and professionalism. His leadership style has been characterized by a hands-on approach. From the outset, he embarked on a tour of Customs Formations, emphasizing his commitment to improving customs operations and national security.
Adeniyi’s dedication to his official responsibilities and beyond is extraordinary. He has flagged off projects to expand office and residential accommodations, warehouse facilities, and a model college for training and retraining of officers. These initiatives underscore his commitment to the growth and modernization of the Customs Service, departing from conventional leadership approaches.
But what truly sets Adeniyi apart is his integrity. He has garnered numerous awards and recognitions, including the National Honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) and Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. His decisive actions, such as the seizure of $8,065, 612 million at Murtala Mohammed International Airport while he was an Area Controller, have solidified his reputation for fearless and effective leadership.
His competence and qualifications are beyond question. He has actively participated in numerous Customs-related summits and meetings worldwide, gaining invaluable expertise and knowledge of customs operations. This extensive experience positions him as a highly qualified leader for the organization.
Adeniyi’s vision extends into the future, with a strong emphasis on technology and innovation. He envisions a Customs Service that fully embraces technological advancements, emphasizing data gathering, mapping techniques, and satellite imagery to enhance operations. His plans for collaboration with technology institutions promise to usher in a new era of efficiency.
Furthermore, Adeniyi’s commitment to the welfare of Customs Service staff has been unwavering. He has worked diligently to address long-standing issues and improve conditions for officers and employees, reinvigorating the Service and earning widespread appreciation.
Adeniyi’s leadership extends beyond the confines of his office. He has actively engaged with government establishments and executives across the federation, fostering cooperation and achieving tangible results. His dedication to President Bola Ahmad Tinubu’s success is evident, and his hands-on approach to leadership is commendable.
In the months ahead, Nigerians can anticipate the positive impacts of Adeniyi’s leadership. His tenure promises increased business activity, facilitated trade, reduced smuggling, enhanced revenue generation, and increased foreign investment, which will benefit the country and its youth.
In conclusion, as some seek to obstruct progress for their personal gain, it is crucial for Nigerians to rally behind the positive changes Adeniyi is bringing to the Nigeria Customs Service. His leadership is a beacon of hope, and we must collectively reject the efforts of economic saboteurs and opportunists who seek to disrupt our nation’s growth and progress.
Muhammad Bashir, a public affairs analyst writes from Abuja