Customs Area Controller(CAC) Seme Border, Comptroller Mohammed Garba Uba


By  Maritime Security News

By Sandra Chukwunyere
Comptroller Mohammed Uba is one man (an Officer) whose footprint on the sand of history remains for posterity. His good and excellent deeds and good work behavior as far as the Customs Service is concerned, remains an outstanding, speaks volume of his impeccable character and such must be something that should be emulated by other Officers of the modern day.He (Comptroller Uba) is also a man who does whatever he proposes to do with his entire mind without being allowed to be distracted or intimidated by any man so far he will achieve the set result. 
The former CAC of Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos and zone ‘C’ Owerri and is presently the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Seme Border, is an Officer who has really gone round the entire formations of the service and had equally served in various Commands and formations of the service and each place or formation he finds himself, he leaves a mark to prove that UBA came and worked there. He excellently performances and his legendarily footprint and landmark achievements would not be forgotten easily in those formations and Commands. Comptroller had always carried his responsibility with extra commitment and such seriousness that even make people wonder what manner of man he is as he does his job without fear or favour. And that had brought him closer to people that matters and made him different from other officers.    
For instance, while at the FOU, Ikaja, Lagos, this amiable and smart-looking enforcement officer recorded a lot of successes at the Command. It was on record and evidently seen and can be verified by anybody at anytime and anywhere that the Command under his leadership then and since the history of that Command made the highest seizures and generated the highest revenue as well as outstanding records in terms of anti-smuggling activities. 
  A particular case of note was the fact that FOU during his tenure seized 100 exotic cars from private home, an action that is actually backed by law but mere carried out. He also seized wild life (Pangolin scale) worth over N2.7 billion at a single catch and arrested two Chinese suspects in connection with the wild life seizure. These he did without intimidation. This was possible because he (Uba)was a man who thread where other could not. This also brought about a delegation from United Nations (UN) officials to FOU then. 
Comptroller Uba believes that the only that made their job easier and his achievements possible under the present regime was his adherence to the three key policy thrust of the present Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Ali (Rtd.) what is known as the Three Rs reform, restructuring and revenue generation. 
His belief on these did not only push him but added more impetus to his seal to achieve more.  That was why he told Vanguard in an interview sometime that “When you look at the structure of the service, you will realize that the CGC Hameed Ali(Rtd) is reforming the Nigeria Customs Service to the world class standard. This has shown in all aspects of our activities, on revenue generation, trade facilitation in line with global best practice and anti-smuggling.  Ali is strong filler for the service. His integrity, transparency and accountability are clearly demonstrated in his leadership approach. His three Rs, representing reform, restructuring and revenue generation are seen in all areas of customs operations across the country”
Talking of  how he and his men and officers of the unit then were able to achieve such feats (the seizure at FOU), he quickly intervened and said that it was as a result of intelligent networking or drive: “We did it through intelligent…. So I give the CGC the credit for this outstanding achievement. 
Other remarkable seizures were 460 sacks of Pangolin Scales weighing 12.264kg and 218 elephant tusks made his seizures at the FOU the highest of such items (endangered species) in the history of the FOU zone ‘A’. This brought a lot of accolades to the Customs and the FOU in particular because that particular seizure of wild life compelled the Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Usman who led the United Nations Charter on Certificate of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) delegate to FOU, led by Juan Carlos, who is the Chief Legal Affairs, CITES Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland so that necessary recommendations would be made to the headquarters for that.  Comptroller Uba also got over four letters of commendations from the Customs headquarters for his excellent performances.
As an Officer who had served in various formations of the service, his track records are still there for anyone to go through. And while looking back in retrospect, Comptroller Uba has this to say: “I have witnessed a lot of exposures to the world, seen many challenges posed by smugglers and other unpatriotic citizens. One time at Ogun Command, we were on official duty when smugglers attacked us. Our operational vehicle was burnt while we escaped death by a whisker.”          
He continued: “When I was the Officer in Charge (O/C) Border Patrol, we were among the first to fight smugglers at a place called ‘Jamtari’, the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. We fought the smugglers and defeated and seized over gallons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS petrol). We snapped our encounter with smugglers and sent to the headquarters. The defunct Gongola State was the second in the nation on number of seizures recorded after Seme then, during the tenure of Comptroller Bello Yamusa.”

At Seme Border and among all the CACs that have served there, Comptroller Mohammed Garba Uba is adjudged to be one of the best things that have happened to Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service in the recent time and this, he has proven to the stakeholders, freight forwarders, border operators and truck owners who have in the time pass faced a lot of humiliation in the hands of evil men. For instance while the operators at the border station are battling to find their fits back while many have left the business of freight forwarding and haulage, due mainly to the Federal Government fiscal policies. Before the coming of Uba to Seme in the recent time, most offices of the clearing age agents are on key and lock because of no job. These were what people are going through before this amiable officer, a game changer (CAC Uba) came on board. 
Before this time there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both the Government of Goodlock Jonathan then and that of the Benin Republic but that could be followed by both government but this time around and following the commissioning of the newly but now both the government of Muhammadu Buhari and President Talon of Benin Republic now agreed that the MoU must be adhered to and that the international rules for international trade must be followed to the later in their joint border operations.   It was based on that the CAC of Seme and the Chairman of the Joint Border Patrol, Comptroller  Mohammed Garba Uba kick started to take numerous action to implement this agreement which other CACs could not implement. 
The Seme story of today is different. It is different because Uba has proven beyond every reasonable doubt, that nothing is impossible in the surface of this planet earth, and that once you are determined to do anything, you must succeed if you take positive actions. Apart from bringing the dying Command back to life and raising the revenue generation profile higher, he has moved the hard-to-be-move Atlas park that usually make money for people of Benin Republic at the detriment of the Nigerian counterpart to Nigerian side of the border. He has done that since and the park being in the Nigerian side of the border, has today restored the dying border, thereby creating job opportunities for idle hands whose businesses have suffered great losses over the years while on the other hand, truck owners, their drivers and motor boys are equally back to life courtesy of Uba. 
To achieve this aim, Uba went on to build a wall around the new park to end the criminality at the border.  Building a tall was to block the well-known illegal park which has been in operation for a long time before now. The wisdom in creating another park for Nigerian business community at Seme was a well commended effort of a visionary leader indeed.
On his arrival at Seme, the no nonsense comptroller who did not like what he saw there and the way and manner things were moving song into actions just to end those things. At first move his seizures from December 2018 to January 2019 recorded a total of 27 seized vehicles of different brands. Seme within that period made a total of N1.0 Billion in terms of revenue from December 2018 to January 2019. Seized various other items like 6,753 bags of rice valued at N157,479,960,22 different brands of fairly used vehicles with a combined DPV of N177,314,091,45 by 25 litres Jerri cans of vegetable oil with DPV of N573,750 as well as other seizures. 
On the area of export, according to the CAC at one of the press conference, he noted that the command made a total Free on Board (FOB) of N14.612,402,601.07 of good exported out of the country from that same period of December 2018 to January 2019.  Within that same period, Uba said his Command recorded a payment of N73,061,986.42 as National Export Supervision Scheme (NES). In the corresponding period in 2017, the command export unit recorded N11,77,22,144.65 with a total FOB with NESS payment of N58,910,816.90. When compared, FOB value of goods exported in 2018 is higher than that of 2017 with N2,835,182,456.42 showing an increase of 10.74%. Similarly, the total NESS payment for 2018 was N73,061,986.43 while that of 2017 stood at N58,910,816.90. These also shows an increase of N14,151,169.53 in the year 2018 which represents 10.72% increase. 
Comptroller Uba joined the service in 1988 and was posted to the then Gongola State Command of the service where he was the OC in charge of Border Patrol. He worked at that Command for five good years before he was later transferred to Kano in June , 1993. In Kano he served June 1993 till December 1993 of that same year. While in Kano, Uba made Sectional OC Baggage, at the Aminu Kano International Airport. In December of that same 1993 he was posted out from Kano to Ogun State Command of the NCS, where he was the OC Surveillance at Idiroko, the border between Nigeria and Republic of Benin. Uba was there till 1996 when he was again redeployed to Murtala Mohammed International Airport Command Lagos as Officer in Charge (OC) of Shed 4. His duty there then was examination cargo. In 1997 again, Uba was transferred to Kano command as Baggage Coordinator at the Airport at the Nigerian Airways NAHCO shed till 2004. 
In that same 2004, March to be precise, Uba was spotted and again posted to Onne Command of the service, Port Harcourt where he was made the OC Clean Report of Inspection (CRI) a document used than for customs clearance. 
It was while in Onne that he was promoted to an Assistant Comptroller of Customs. That was in the year 2005 and right there, he was posted to Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT). He was there till 2008 when he was again redeployed back to Customs Headquarters Abuja, Tariff and Trade Unit but later moved him again to Lilypond, Ijora, Lagos as OC Valuation till 2009 before he was in the same year made him a deputy Comptroller of Customs (DC). In 2010, he was moved again to Kirikiri Lighter Terminal(KLT) as DC Export, from where he served till 2013 before his transfer to Port Harcourt Area 1 and was redeployed the same year to Ogun State Command as DC in charge of Import, where he served till 2015 when Uba became a full comptroller. 
Due to the exigency of the job, this time the now Comptroller was drafted back to the headquarters in 2015 as a Comptroller in charge of tariff. There, in the same year, he (Uba) was moved a, as a Controller in charge of Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri in chage of five Eastern States and six South/South States. But in May 2017 he was again redeployed to head FOU zone A, Ikeja from where he was later transferred to the present location in December 2018 till now.

Second person from the right, CAC Seme Border Customs Command , Comptroller Mohammed Garba Uba, (M) Ministrer of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi and others mgt of Govt. agency during Minister’s visit at Seme border recently
L-R ACG incharge of Customs Zone A, KC Ekekezie & CAC Seme Border, Uba

The periodic visit of the Comptroller to the Owede Community, Seme, (meeting and sensitization.

Comptroller Mohammed Uba Profile

Comptroller Mohammed Garba Uba ( a Record Breaker) is a Customs Area Controller CAC) Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.

BORN; December 13,1962 in Maigatari Local Government Area of Jigawa State.

EDUCATION; He finished his early education in 1975 at Maigatari Primary School before proceeding to Gumei Teachers College in 1975 -1980 where he obtained his west African Senior School Certificate. He has a Bechelor’s Degree in Political science(1986) from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, did his NYSC (1986-1987) and also a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Administration (MPPA) from Bayero University Kano State,2006.

TRAINING; He enlisted into the Superintendent Cadre of Nigeria Customs Service in 1988, making tremendous progress by rising to the Rank of Comptroller of Customs(CAC) in 2015. He has attended many courses as Nigeria Customs Representative both Locally and internationally worth of mention include; Valuation and Modernization courses. He was a pioneer member of the modernization process in the Headquarters which introduced one of the currently used Customs working tools,Pre – Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) One of the vital documentation for importation.

AWARDS; He is a recipient of many Awards in recognition of his outstanding achievement at both Local and International level, the most cherished are ;

. Managerial Target Award by the then Customs Administrator Ango in 1996

. Health Ambassador by Medical Students Association, Imo State University

. He is a member of Peace of different professional bodies such as ;

. He was a Public Relations Officer, Kano Student Association, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

. International Peace Congress , Movement for Progressive Nigeria,22nd people Parliament Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

Comptroller Mohammed Garba Uba enjoys reading,playing Lawn Tennis and Football. He is happily married with children.

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