The Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barr. Nyesom Wike has assured that the ministry would allocate new land to the Nigeria Customs Service to build a Customs Staff School.
The assurance was given on Thursday when the acting Comptroller-General of the Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi paid an official visit to the Minister at the Federal Capital Territory Secretariat in Abuja.
During the interaction, the Customs boss congratulated Wike on his appointment as FCT Minister by President Ahmad Bola Tinubu.
He stated that, “one of the reasons for our visit is to congratulate you on your appointment as FCT Minister. FCT holds a pivotal position in Nigeria, and I believe that by getting it right in FCT, we can get it right in Nigeria.”
“We anticipate transparency and integrity, and we believe that Nigerians will look forward to a smart and proud FCT.”
The CG of Customs also elaborated on the core mandates of the Nigeria Customs Service, which encompass revenue generation, curbing smuggling, and facilitating trade while noting the significant activities in port areas and other service formations.
He emphasized the need for policies to support the service in fulfilling its mandates in the FCT, considering the substantial presence of over 2,500 service personnel in Abuja. He pointed out the challenge of sending the children of Customs personnel to private schools in the city.
To ameliorate the problem, the CGC made an appeal to the Minister for the allocation of land to enable the construction of primary and secondary schools for the children of Customs personnel in Abuja.
Responding, Barrister Wike emphasized the new administration’s policy that any agency seeking land in the territory must commit to developing it within a specified time or risk land revocation.
He expressed his willingness to consider the request, but with the condition that if necessary, a penalty would be imposed.
Regarding the request for land allocation to build the Customs Staff School, Wike assured approval on the condition that the NCS commits to timely development. He emphasized the importance of schools and stated that any agency receiving land must demonstrate a serious commitment to development within a reasonable timeframe.
Wike also mentioned the requirement for the Customs boss to pay ground rent promptly without notice.
The Minister, who assured the CGC of his unflinching support to make his tenure a successful one, also said his Ministry had recently received Nigeria Customs Service’s letter of request for land allocation – which, according to him, will be approved in due course.
Minister Wike said, “Our policies, like that of Nigeria Customs Service, is to generate revenue to carry out projects in Abuja, but considering the good intentions of the CGC to establish schools to ensure quality education, we’re ready to approve NCS’ request.”
He also urged the Customs Legal Adviser and the Federal Capital Territory Authority to fine-tune all the legal modalities to accelerate the process.