…my policies are for the development of the country
President Muhammadu Buhari has on Tuesday commissioned the newly built N19.6 billion Nigeria Customs Service Corporate Headquarters in Abuja which took 16 years to build.
The commissioning was done in less than 24 hours after he inaugurated the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals, established by the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State, on Monday.
The President said the ban on importation of foreign rice was one of his administration’s policies deliberately made for the development of the country.
“I deliberately closed the borders. I said it is either you eat what you grow or you grow what you eat and later Nigerians appreciated it,” he said.
On corruption, Buhari said he had nothing to hide, adding that, “those who are following Nigerian leaders to condemn them for misappropriation and misbehaviour will have a problem with me.”
On relationship with neighbouring African countries, the president said there was a need to maintain cordial relationship with them.
“When I became the President, my first visit was to Niger, Chad and Cameroon because if you do not secure their confidence, you will be in trouble.’’
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the new customs headquarters was a symbol of the present government’s commitment to effective service delivery.
She thanked the president for signing the Nigeria Customs Act 2022, saying it would go a long way in enabling the service meet up with international best practices.
The Comptroller of Custom, Hammed Ali, said he ensured the building was completed to create conducive environment for personnel to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
Mr Ali said the building was technologically friendly with necessary facilities to monitor activities at the different borders and commands across the country.
According to the Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Adewale Adeniyi, the new smart Corporate Headquarters has a 12-floor tower with five floors on both wings of the tower and “bridges” linking the two wings.
The Chairman said construction of the building commenced in 2007 following the need to build a befitting edifice for the service, the News Agency of Nigeria said in a report.
He further said that the need for more space in view of the capacity of the service also informed the construction of the building.
Adeniyi said the building, sitting on approximately 25,000 square metres, was designed and constructed by indigenous firms.
He said the height of the building above the ground was approximately 40 metres and one of the tallest buildings within the Business District of Maitama, Abuja.
Adeniyi said the building would be serviced with modern and up-to-date mechanical and electrical services installations.
The deputy comptroller-general of customs said the service was proud to state that “such an architectural masterpiece is cost efficient.”
On the challenges encountered during the construction of the building, Adeniyi said there were challenges ranging from variations and adjustments in the model of the building.
The Corporate Headquarters building referred to as “Customs House”, is located in Maitama, one of the high-brow areas of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The project was conceived in 2002 to provide a comfortable and conducive working environment for staff and authorised visitors to the building.Follow us on social media