…Wants community leaders to embrace change
In compliance to the Comptroller-General of Customs’s policy thrust and the headquarters directives on Customs-Community Consultative Forum (CCCF) with reference NO.NCS/ENF/ABJ/058/S.2/VOL.V OF 14TH September, 2015, the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Seme Area Command, Comptroller Victor Dimka has revived the CCCF and engaged the host communities to an interactive session recently.
According to the press release issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Selechang Taupyen and made available to this medium, the feat has shown that the CAC understands that he cannot succeed alone in the task of revenue collection and anti-smuggling activities without the co-operation of the critical stakeholders as well as the host communities.
He explained that the forum which was an aspect of public relations that build and nurture face to face community relationship was also a platform that provides better understanding between the Nigeria Customs Service and the host communities.
He disclosed that the chairman used the forum to passionately sensitize all the participants on the negative effects of smuggling and consumption of imported frozen poultry products stressing that the formalin chemical which might have been used to preserve the products for months or years was disastrous to the health of Nigerians and the Nigeria economy at large.
Taupyen said that considering the sensitivity and importance of the forum to the service, the Nigeria Customs Service had a moral debt to take their place in the community to be good neighbors, show awareness and willingness to co-exist.
The Command’s spokesman said that the community and opinion leaders, the Controller disclosed that leaders were only respected when they lead by example and were seen to be doing the right thing adding that the Controller urged them to partner with him to become vanguard and agents of change in their immediate communities.
“According to Hillstrom, K. Hillstrom (2002), a comprehensive community relation programme like the CCCF can help organizations like the Nigeria Customs Service achieve visibility as a good community citizens and gain the goodwill of the community in which it operates. A cordial interface of this nature between the service and the host communities could be a significant determinant on whether the service will record success in its daily anti-smuggling operations and revenue generations or not”, Taupyen quoted.
He further informed that Comptroller Dimka re-iterated that the Nigeria Customs Service do not live in a vacuum saying that the host communities were essential to realizing the mandate of the Nigeria Customs Service even as he quoted the CAC as having emphasized the need for peaceful co-existence in order to achieve the core mandate of the service.
“In building a lasting relationship between the service and the host communities, professionals in the public relations outfit recommended that the importance of this face to face interactive forum cannot be over-emphasized; this is because the forum is an avenue for meeting the public and addressing questions community members ask. The interface also gives room for decision making on realistic assumptions (discussions that will bring about economic advancement of the community).
“The Comptroller noted that Seme command will continue to build a sustainable relationship with key individuals, groups and the host communities. He said the service will continue to demonstrate sensitivity to community concerns as anything that affect the community will also affect the service performance and responsibilities to the Nigerian people.
“The benefit of this face to face interactive session that address community concerns directly could be tangible or intangible. The service expects that the understanding will go a long way to cushion any hiccup that might have been militating against its operations at the international border”, he said.
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