His antecedents speak volumes of an officer who is coming from a vast wealth of experience. Criss-crossing the Revenue, Enforcement and training departments of the Service, this gentleman has written his name on the sands of time having assisted greatly in shoring up the revenue profiles of any Command he has worked in.
Comptroller Mahmoud Ibrahim is a good mixer-sociable and non-ethnocentric. This is one of the characteristics of an officer who has traversed the several zones of the country through redeployments. As a middle level officer, his bosses depended so much on him as someone you can entrust the Command on his shoulders and ‘go to sleep’.
You won’t worry, as a helmsman of any Unit, Command or department, if Ibrahim is directly your subordinate. He will ensure all responsibilities are carried out in line with extant laws without abetting.
Also, as an Assistant Comptroller, at the Federal Operations Unit, zone ‘C’ Owerri, where Dimka held sway for years, Ibrahim served as his compass, detecting unscrupulous and devious practices of Agents and Importers alike who were neck-deep in the art of evading import duties. He, it was, that will recommend commensurate payments through the issuance of Demand Notices (DN) to make up for the shortfalls.
Ibrahim didn’t fail! And Dimka was better for it, having received several commendations from the then Comptrollers’ General for superintending over the Eastern Unit so well. Ibrahim was the officer in charge of operations and in any anti-smuggling Unit, O/C in charge of operations is so powerful in the reduction of smuggling.
Arrests of smugglers as well as unwholesome cargoes was the order of the day. The warehouses in the zone’s jurisdiction, namely in Benin, Owerri, Calabar, Enugu were all filled to the brim. Dimka and Ibrahim engaged intelligence in their functions and it paid off. Informants were largely encouraged and it was harvests of arrests.
At the time, the Eastern zone was coasting home with the tag of largest seizure profile, as all uncustomed goods that escaped the zone ‘A’ were intercepted at the Benin major check points while those of them coming from Cameroon through Ikom, Oron or Calabar will meet their waterloo in the waiting hands of the Ibrahim boys.
It was as a result of his feats at the zone ‘C’ that he was quickly redeployed by the Comptroller General again to head the gates of the Onne Area II gates which up to date controls the third largest imports into Nigeria –only after Premier Port and Tincan Island Command in Lagos.
Before the Service will recommend any officer to head a major seaport gates; such officer must be vast in reading tariff, classifications, detect goods that run contrary to import guidelines and smugglers’ antics.
Ibrahim was at home with all these functions and they paid off – and Onne made its highest revenue profile during his stint there, according to records. At the Tin Can Island port, he didn’t fail as well as revenue went sky-high during his sojourn there.
This Comptroller is not one of the greedy lots, he applies decorum, discipline and fairness, in his day to day responsibilities, that whatever he gives an Importer to pay to make up for any short-payment, he does it with a broad smile that no one will mistake it as punishment. He applies commensurate human face in his line of duty –if not for his northern name you will perhaps not know if Ibrahim is an Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba. He is just a Pan-Nigerian.
It was not for nothing that when his name popped up two years ago as one of the officers promoted to full Comptroller’s rank, most of the port operators were excited up until that news was shot down. But, God who never fails sustained the reality of the redeployment –now to the PTML.
Since his assumption of office there, he has equally not failed neither will he. Revenue is looking up, no doubt, staff moral very high and PTML which used to be rancorous, violent to an extent as a result of skirmishes by agents and Importers now seems quiet and settled. Commendations to Col Hameed Ali for finding Compt Ibrahim worthy of coming around to raise the bar at the number one RoRo Command.
To the officers and men, I commend you all for being this lucky to have a man that will impart job ethics, a man who can off hand tell an Importer the duty applicable to his cargoes, ensuring that government neither loses the required revenue nor importers being short-changed through illegal fees –that’s the kind of officer today’s Customs Service deserves.