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TRULY, THE NIGERIA CUSTOM SERVICE IS WORKING FOR NIGERIANS

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The Nigerian Customs Service via its Public Relation Unit has sort of rekindled my hope of a better Nigeria. It is also a re-assurance that there will be light at the end of the tunnel for Nigerians with the way and manner the unit swiftly responded and immediately put their hands to the plow until justice was served on a matter I personally reported on the 30th of November 2022.

As a border boy, I am not unfamiliar with the rules and restrictions placed on several business activities in and around the border communities and as a law abiding citizen I try to keep my part of the Nigerian Deal to the best of my abilities even though these restrictions are very inconveniencing for the average border community dweller. But on that faithful Wednesday afternoon, an officer of the Nigerian Customs serving in one of the checkpoints between Idiroko and Owode went above board. This officer had threatened to delay and waste my time, and he did -for no just cause than the fact that I had an altercation with one of his errand boys popularly called CAMP BOYS that are ordinarily not suppose to be on the road whom I queried for hitting on my car with a stick after confirming I had no contraband in my car. The only response I got from the guy after my polite enquiry is to refer to me as being stupid! He repeated the verbal assault, adding who am I? Of course, I told him he must be stupid too for him to have a feel of what he was ditching out on me. Suddenly, the said officer came on the scene, requested to see my custom papers (which was immediately given to him and confirmed genuine) and then he dropped an unguarded statement “I will delay you today”, and thus, the delay started.

After waiting for over 1hour and 30minutes with no end in sight, I decided (out of my frustration) to report this case of intentional delay and inhuman treatment on The Nigerian Customs Service official Facebook Page inbox. I remained there with my friends until few hours later when the “BOSS” of an officer feels fulfilled and Okay to release my papers and car keys. That was after several hours of delay for no just cause. I left the scene frustrated because I had missed my appointment and also cancelled all other engagements for the day. But my main worry as I zoomed off in my devastated state was; will things ever get better for our nation in the area of respecting human rights?

But alas, The Public Relations Unit of the Nigerian Customs Service cleared my doubts! At about 6:48pm of the same day I received this as a response to the message I had earlier sent to their inbox:
”Good afternoon, I have forwarded your case to the appropriate channel. You will be contacted”.

I thought this was some regular face saving message since the message appeared to have been read but I was wrong! By 7:46pm (Just about 1 hour after the response) I heard my phone ringing:
Me: Hello, good evening
Caller: Hi, my name is….a Superintended of Customs…. And I am calling from the headquarters in Abuja, I got your complaints and I want to know if you were able to resolve the matter?
Me: (Surprised and Excited)… Good evening sir sir sir, my name is Julius Oyedokun …. (And then I re-narrated the whole story)
And the Superintended of Customs replied thus: “Please you have to understand the orientation; some people like to do the exact opposite of what they are meant to do. Some thinks that their wearing uniform is an opportunity to molest and victimize people, so I think that’s what some believe the uniform is meant for. And whoever toes that line, I don’t think we must pamper him but we just have to give him a fair hearing.”
Me: (Still surprised and amused… I thought within myself, Wow wawwu… Is this happening in Nigeria or some American Film???)
And within a few seconds the Superintended of Customs linked me up with another Unit of Lagos state, to which he assigned to take up the case and do thorough investigation of the matter with a caveat that “IF” the incident actually happened the way I have narrated, the officer in question should be identified and disciplined accordingly. Fast forward to the second day, I was heading to work when some calls started coming in to ask If this was the same Julius that had an encounter with a particular customs officer yesterday… Infact, I was invited to identify the erring officer via a WhatsApp video call (from their Zonal Office) among all the officers that were on duty on the day of the incident at the check point. All were summoned.

Anyways, long story cut short, I even had to beg on his behalf when I saw the action that were been taken after the officer was identified, scolded and reprimanded appropriately BUT one thing remained with me since the day and that is the fact that a better Nigeria is in the offing.

The takeaway from this encounter is that Nigeria is not unredeemable. Good things are happening in the Nigeria Custom Service particularly from the top echelon. C.G Hammed Ali Reform initiatives is taking shape within the organization. Despite knowing a good number of top officers in the NCS, I decided to go through the official channel to test the efficacy and effectiveness of the unit and how prompt public complaints will be addressed. To say I’m impressed with the handling is an understatement.
Kudos to NCS. Good things takes time. Bad eggs in the NCS should watch their back. Then, other Nigeria institutions should endeavour emulate NCS particularly the Nigeria Police Force.

Thank you Nigeria Customs Service and God bless Nigeria.

Julius Oyedokun writes from [email protected]

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TANKER ACCIDENT : LASTMA RESCUE ANOTHER 4 ACCIDENT VICTIMS INSIDE TRICYCLES AT IKOTUN, LAGOS

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…Tricycle driver with one passenger died instantly.

Operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) today rescued another 4 fatal accident victims inside mini commercial buses (tricycles) around Ikotun area of Lagos.

The accident which occurred around 12:30 pm today involved a fully loaded container truck (JJJ 125) and 4 mini commercial buses (tricycles) with registration nos (LSD 83 QM), (AKD 690 QK) & (AKL 87 QF)

The driver of one of the mini commercial bus (tricycle) with one passenger died instantly.

Those four (4) rescued accident victims by Lastma personnel were 2 pregnant women and 2 children.

Lastma personnel immediately handed over those rescued victims to Police men from Ikotun Police Station who took them to General Hospital for treatment.

 

A preliminary investigation revealed that the fully loaded container truck (JJJ 125) had a brake failure and crushed 3 tricycles by a valley around synagogue when going towards Ikotun.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) immediately moved the tanker with those crushed tricycles to Ikotun Police Station

Other emergency responders including the Nigerian Police men from Ikotun Police Station were at the scene of the accident.

The General Manager of LASTMA Mr Bolaji Oreagba however warned tanker owners and drivers to always ensure that their trucks are properly checked and in good conditions before embarking on any journey.

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LIRS Boss, Ayodele Subair, Bags Vanguard’s Public Sector Icon Award

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Mr Ayodele Subair, Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has been conferred with the 2022 Public Sector Icon of the year at the 11th edition of the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, January 27, 2023.

The glamorous ceremony chaired by Mrs Ajoritsedere Awosika, Chairman of Access Bank, is an annual event where eminent personalities who have distinguished themselves in professional excellence and service to humanity in the private and public sectors are honoured.

According to the organizer of the event, Vanguard Newspaper Limited, the LIRS boss, Subair, was conferred with the special award in recognition of his magic wand in the Lagos state tax revolution during the last seven years of being in office.

L-R: Mrs Enonuya Angela- Assistant Director, Personal Income Tax, LIRS, Ms Coker Folashade- Director, Informal Sector and Special Duties, LIRS, Ayodele Subair, Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS and Mrs Bolaji Akintola, Director, Tax Audit, LIRS during the 11th edition of the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award held over the weekend at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Receiving the award, alongside some of the LIRS directors, Subair expressed gratitude to the Vanguard Newspapers’ management for finding him worthy to be selected for the honour.

“I must thank the chairman and management of Vanguard Newspapers. They’ve been there as the vanguard leading the way in developments and new ideas for many years. To be on top is not very easy. They are one of the best newspaper organisations in Nigeria. I say kudos to them.”

Speaking further, Subair noted; “I feel very proud about our achievements at LIRS. It’s not just about me. It is about LIRS, the management, the directors, and staff, including most importantly, His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his immense support and encouragement. Also, the Lagos State House of Assembly, the Judiciary and all stakeholders that have contributed to our success.”

Commenting on the impact of the award, the LIRS chairman said it had thrown the agency up for more good work.

He said the agency is happy to be contributing to the development of Lagos State and humanity. According to him, “Without mobilization of funds, there can’t be any meaningful development.”

Born on May 21, 1960, Subair holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the Metropolitan University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos. A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, member of both the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, and the Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria, BRIPAN.

Prior to his appointment in 2016, the internally generated revenue, IGR, by the LIRS, hovered around N240 billion, but with his astute knowledge and experience in accounting and taxation, Subair has increased revenue generation to N427 billion, nearly doubling the initial revenue at the start of his tenure.

Subair has introduced various innovative measures to shove up the tax revolution in Lagos State, which included the introduction of e-Tax, which has resulted in a faster turn-around time for tax processes, improved transparency, and increased taxpayer self-service.

At the prestigious Award night, aside from the LIRS boss, other eminent Nigerians were conferred with different categories of awards, including the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who won the Personality of the Year Award.

Governors Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babagana Zulum of Borno, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara and Seyi Makinde of Oyo emerged as Vanguard Newspaper 2022 governors of the year. Also honoured were, Chairman of NDLEA, General Buba Mara (rtd), Founder/CEO Techno Oil, Nkechi Obi, Ray Ekpu and Mohammed Bello Koko, CEO, Nigerian Port Authority among others.

Earlier, speaking at the award ceremony, General Manager/Ediro-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, said that for a decade, Vanguard Newspaper has continued to recognize Nigeria’s most distinguished individuals for excellence, national pride and service to humanity.

L-R: Mrs Enonuya Angela- Assistant Director, Personal Income Tax, LIRS, Asiwaju Solomon Kayode Onafowokan, former President Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Chairman, Coleman Wire and Cables presenting the 2022 Public Sector Icon of the Year Award to Ayodele Subair, (middle) Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, Ms Coker Folashade- Director, Informal Sector and Special Duties, LIRS and Mrs Bolaji Akintola, Director, Tax Audit, LIRS during the 11th edition of the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award held over the weekend at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos


Adefaye noted that these individuals in business, politics and other facets of human endeavours have not only achieved great success but have been responsible corporate citizens, impacting society and the environment. “They have been innovative and forward thinking and have taken bold steps to shape the future of their industries and served with integrity and dedication to improve the nation “There are numerous ways to make a positive influence, whether by volunteering our time, closing market gaps, spearheading innovation, being a model citizen or simply lending a helping hand to people in need’’ he said.

Hosted by actress and television presenter, Zainab Balogun and her male colleague, Deyemi Okanlawon, the ceremony had in attendance society’s Crème de la crème including captains of industry, members of the diplomatic corps, businessmen, and women businesswomen, media personalities as well as members of the culture and creative industry.

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LIRS Boss, Ayodele Subair, Bags Vanguard’s Public Sector Icon Award 2022

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Mr Ayodele Subair, Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has been conferred with the 2022 Public Sector Icon of the year at the 11th edition of the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, January 27, 2023.

The glamorous ceremony chaired by Mrs Ajoritsedere Awosika, Chairman of Access Bank, is an annual event where eminent personalities who have distinguished themselves in professional excellence and service to humanity in the private and public sectors are honoured.

According to the organizer of the event, Vanguard Newspaper Limited, the LIRS boss, Subair, was conferred with the special award in recognition of his magic wand in the Lagos state tax revolution during the last seven years of being in office.

L-R: Mrs Enonuya Angela- Assistant Director, Personal Income Tax, LIRS, Ms Coker Folashade- Director, Informal Sector and Special Duties, LIRS, Ayodele Subair, Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS and Mrs Bolaji Akintola, Director, Tax Audit, LIRS during the 11th edition of the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award held over the weekend at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Receiving the award, alongside some of the LIRS directors, Subair expressed gratitude to the Vanguard Newspapers’ management for finding him worthy to be selected for the honour.

“I must thank the chairman and management of Vanguard Newspapers. They’ve been there as the vanguard leading the way in developments and new ideas for many years. To be on top is not very easy. They are one of the best newspaper organisations in Nigeria. I say kudos to them.”

Speaking further, Subair noted; “I feel very proud about our achievements at LIRS. It’s not just about me. It is about LIRS, the management, the directors, and staff, including most importantly, His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his immense support and encouragement. Also, the Lagos State House of Assembly, the Judiciary and all stakeholders that have contributed to our success.”

Commenting on the impact of the award, the LIRS chairman said it had thrown the agency up for more good work.

He said the agency is happy to be contributing to the development of Lagos State and humanity. According to him, “Without mobilization of funds, there can’t be any meaningful development.”

Born on May 21, 1960, Subair holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the Metropolitan University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos. A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, member of both the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, and the Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria, BRIPAN.

Prior to his appointment in 2016, the internally generated revenue, IGR, by the LIRS, hovered around N240 billion, but with his astute knowledge and experience in accounting and taxation, Subair has increased revenue generation to N427 billion, nearly doubling the initial revenue at the start of his tenure.

Subair has introduced various innovative measures to shove up the tax revolution in Lagos State, which included the introduction of e-Tax, which has resulted in a faster turn-around time for tax processes, improved transparency, and increased taxpayer self-service.

At the prestigious Award night, aside from the LIRS boss, other eminent Nigerians were conferred with different categories of awards, including the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who won the Personality of the Year Award.

Governors Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babagana Zulum of Borno, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara and Seyi Makinde of Oyo emerged as Vanguard Newspaper 2022 governors of the year. Also honoured were, Chairman of NDLEA, General Buba Mara (rtd), Founder/CEO Techno Oil, Nkechi Obi, Ray Ekpu and Mohammed Bello Koko, CEO, Nigerian Port Authority among others.

Earlier, speaking at the award ceremony, General Manager/Ediro-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, said that for a decade, Vanguard Newspaper has continued to recognize Nigeria’s most distinguished individuals for excellence, national pride and service to humanity.

L-R: Mrs Enonuya Angela- Assistant Director, Personal Income Tax, LIRS, Asiwaju Solomon Kayode Onafowokan, former President Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Chairman, Coleman Wire and Cables presenting the 2022 Public Sector Icon of the Year Award to Ayodele Subair, (middle) Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, Ms Coker Folashade- Director, Informal Sector and Special Duties, LIRS and Mrs Bolaji Akintola, Director, Tax Audit, LIRS during the 11th edition of the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award held over the weekend at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos


Adefaye noted that these individuals in business, politics and other facets of human endeavours have not only achieved great success but have been responsible corporate citizens, impacting society and the environment. “They have been innovative and forward thinking and have taken bold steps to shape the future of their industries and served with integrity and dedication to improve the nation “There are numerous ways to make a positive influence, whether by volunteering our time, closing market gaps, spearheading innovation, being a model citizen or simply lending a helping hand to people in need’’ he said.

Hosted by actress and television presenter, Zainab Balogun and her male colleague, Deyemi Okanlawon, the ceremony had in attendance society’s Crème de la crème including captains of industry, members of the diplomatic corps, businessmen, and women businesswomen, media personalities as well as members of the culture and creative industry.

Continue Reading

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