By: Ike Philip AbiagomComptroller Yusuf Lawal is a man of immense mettle and a completely detribalized human being with a profound depth of character, whose humility, devoid of discrimination, embraces all and sundry. He soars like an eagle and exudes reverence and integrity. A pragmatic leader full of benevolence; he gives hope to the hopeless, welfare succor to the poor and needy. To everyone who crosses his path, he is a light. He is a friend to the staff , a role model to the young,a helper to many and a visionary man.
Comptroller Yusuf Lawal the present Controller in charge of Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ Owerri Command fits into the mold where scholars conclude that great men and women achieve success through handwork and resilience. He remains the luckiest in terms of favourable circumstances. He is one of the few officers that have served round trip the most successful commands in Nigeria. Comptroller Yusuf Lawal is not disposed to unnecessary talks and frivolities; a no nonsense man who had all through his leadership role in the service proved himself to be a leader that matches words with actions.
Since he was redeployed as the Customs Area Controller of Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ Owerri, he has magically turned around the operations of the command wise with unprecedented revenue generated since he took over.He has hitherto raised the performance bar of the unit to an exampled level in the history of the command. This is due to the fact that the refined officer is adjudged according to maritime watchers to be a revenue oriented officer as well as his encomiums emanated from commands with performance based on revenue. Many senior customs officers hailed the Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) led management’s decision of redeploying Comptroller Yusuf Lawal to Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ Owerri Command to pilot the affairs of the unit knowing fully well he is a great performer and a go-getter; bearing in mind that the command is one of the nerve centres of the Nigeria Customs Service.His aggressive approach and the pro activeness of his Command officers will increase revenue generation of the command, adding that Nigeria Customs Service main target is revenue generation and trade facilitation with much efforts and emphasis on blockage of revenue leakages through 100 percent examination of cargoes.
Comptroller Yusuf Lawal wants to leave the Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) better than he met it is not in doubt. This is because he is a man that is associated with result from his days in the lower cadre in the Service to this present position of the Controller of Customs. The new reformed Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ Command of the Nigeria Customs Service under Compt. Lawal has engaged in a renewed effort of aggressive anti-smuggling operation there by tightening all flanks and flashpoints against smuggling activities.
The command is deploying all necessary tools to ensure that the core mandate of the Service (revenue generation, facilitation of legitimate trade and suppression of smuggling) amongst others, is vigorously achieved. This is because actualising the functions of revenue generation and legitimate trade facilitation depend solely on how smuggling activities are aggressively suppressed to the barest minimum.It is against this backdrop that the anti-smuggling unit of the command has intensified its operations in order to curb the menace of trans-border crimes (smuggling) and other vices.
Comptroller Lawal disclosed that combating smuggling is a major responsibility that the Nigeria Customs Service is saddled with and as such, compliance with federal government fiscal policies is not an option to an institution that is bestowed with such enormous responsibilities.He further stated that officers are adequately motivated and re-oriented to execute their functions creditably and discretionally without compromise.
Lawal said the unit would continue to make sure smugglers within his areas of jurisdiction count their losses until they repent from sabotaging the economy.
“Our resolution remains to degrade the activities of smugglers through aggressive patrol of all flanks and flashpoints. We will be very ruthless with these economic saboteurs because we have a responsibility to protect the nation’s economy in line with the expectations of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
He warned smugglers and would-be smugglers to be prepared for the battle ahead because we will leave no stone unturned in our effort to up the ante of the anti-smuggling mandate.
“There is no amount of resistance from the smugglers and their mob accomplices that will deter us from performing our statutory responsibilities by suppressing smuggling within our zones,” he said.
He urged all well-meaning Nigerians to support the service in the fight against smuggling by providing credible and timely intelligence that will help the unit reduce smuggling to its barest minimum as we hope to improve more in the second quarter by intensifying our surveillance.