Acting Customs CG, Adewale Bashir Adeniyi presents a paper during the 17th International Public Relations Congress


How CCC Has Resolved Crises, Clashes, Conflicts At Nigerian Border’s-Customs
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The Ag. Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has explained how the Customs Community Consultative (CCC) forum as helped as a tool for resolving issues causing crises, clashes, conflicts especially within Nigerian border areas.
The acting Customs CG said this when he presented a paper titled “The Nigeria Customs Service and the Public Relations Challenges” at the 17th International Public Relations Congress on Wednesday, 16th August 2023.
Group photograph of participants at the 17th International Public Relations Congress
According to him, people need to generate interest to have a better understanding of the operations of the service.
“We discovered that in so many cases, people are always very ignorant of what we do, and it is based on the ignorance that they’re impatient to criticise us.
“So, we will also want to make a deliberate action to create awareness and let people have knowledge about what we do”, he stated.
On Customs Strategic Communication Plan, the Ag. CGC says, “It has been our culture to complement our vigorous appearances with a consistently soothing voice in line with the overall corporate objectives”.
“The strategy of putting the media in the middle is something we do to ensure we get our information across to the people.
The Customs Boss also highlighted the Customs Community Consultative forum as a tool for resolving issues causing crises, especially within border areas.
The forum, according to him, enlists senior officers and members of management of Area Commands in Customs on one side and traditional institutions, community leaders, traders’ unions, and youth leaders on the other side.
“This program featured periodic engagement with traditional leaders, meetings with associations, traders, and youth leaders, dialogues, identifying their problems, and showing them what the laws say, what is permitted, and what is prohibited. We laughed, prayed, and talked with them without compromising professionalism”, he noted.
“In a couple of years, major issues causing crises, clashes, and conflicts have been mitigated, majority of the communities became at peace with Customs activities, and we became at peace with the community residents”, he revealed.
“I must confess that this CCF initiative has been very successful, especially in border states, evidenced in Ogun, Katsina and Lagos, where this strategy has miraculously stemmed the rate of conflicts. The secret of this success, dear friends was not ammunition but communication”, he emphasised.
The Acting CGC further said that the Customs community relations strategy did not end in a communication forum, as concerted efforts have been made by the service towards community projects that ultimately benefit border communities and beyond, some of which include Karu Hospital, tagged as “The Flagship Customs CSR Program, NCS Primary and Secondary School in Idiroko among others.
“We are also working on a deliberate recruitment plan for the indigenes of border communities into the Nigeria Customs Service. We believe there are gaps, and we can do better”, he noted.
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