We Will Make Deliberate Action to Create Awareness About What We Do – CGC Says

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Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR,

The  Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has said that deliberate actions will be taken to create awareness about the service’s operations.

He 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.

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”, he said.” 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  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 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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