Saturday, January 28Nigeria's Authoritative Maritime News Magazine
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Hamman Bello Ahmed, OFR: Maritime Living LEGEND of the Week

No other Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service has the record of achievements and bold policy plans that Alhaji Ahmed Hamman Bello Kojoli left.

Nor can any other CG claim to have outperformed him given the limited time frame of less than ten months he was on the saddle. Regarded as a highly non political officer, he has the untainted record of professionalism, dedication and industry.

Perhaps, Kojoli will best be remembered as that fine officer who was drafted to the Apapa Ports during the reign of container flying to arrest the situation. Leading a team of 28 smart officers, among who was retired DCG Julius Nwagwu, then CSC, Kojoli wasted no time in bringing the situation under control through strict adherence to due process.

As Head of the Special Team, he helped to re-establish proper accounting , legal, warehousing and general enforcement procedures. In his report, he identified officers who have served in the Lagos ports command for more than 2 years, or for two or more times in six years, or those whose continued presence constituted impediments to the implementation of Government’s fiscal policy and reforms agenda in the port. His report also identified customs units without proper authorisation operating in the ports, who he recommended for appropriate sanction.

Regarded as an oracle in tariff matters, valuation and classification, and given favorable reports about his dedication to duty, Late President Umar Yar-adua appointed him Comptroller General of Customs on 27th May 2008. His appointment which fulfilled all due process was announced by no one else but the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation [SGF], Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe.

Few hours after the statement was made public, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Shamsudeen Usman proceeded to decorate the new Comptroller � General with the new badges of rank, at a ceremony held at the Ministry�s Conference Room, Abuja.

Born in Kojoli, Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Ahmed had his early education at the Jada Primary School from 1956-1963, and his secondary education at the Government Secondary School Ganye, from 1965-1969. He proceeded to Government Secondary School Bauchi in 1970 for his WASC Advance Level, immediately after which he gained admission into Ahmadu Bello University Zaria to study History and Geography [French sub], and in 1977 bagged his B.A Hons [Comb]. After the completion of his NYSC programme in 1978, young Ahmed joined the Nigeria Customs Service as Superintendent Customs II now Assistant Superintendent I.

He rose through the ranks, serving in different commands, departments and units, in  Kano, Tin Can Island, Valuation Unit and Customs headquarters. In 2005, he was promoted Assistant Comptroller- General and posted to the Inspections and Inspectorate Unit, Customs Headquarters, from where he was appointed Comptroller General.

His versatility in the Harmonised System effectively helped in blocking revenue leakages and also in the recovery of lost revenue. For his efforts and commitments, he won several awards and commendations, locally and internationally, and from both the Nigeria Customs Service and World Customs Organisation. Of note are the following: Service Medal Award for the recovering of Customs Duty to the tune of [N364, 000,000.00] during the Annual Comptroller General of Customs Conference held in Ibadan, Oyo State in 2002; Certificate of Commendation from the Honourable Minister of Finance; Commendation Letter from Societe Generale Du Surveillance [SGS] and Swede Control/Intertek [Preshipment Inspection Companies]; Commendation from the World Customs Organisation on the interpretation and application of the Harmonized System [HS] Nomenclature [tariff].

Other awards include Commendation Letter from Comptroller – General Customs; Certificate .We present to you the Maritime Industry Living of the Week