The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has stated that he will continually support and encourage Officers and Men of the Service who show interest in sports activities as part of his efforts to maintain Customs’ dominance in the sports circle.
The CGC made this disclosure on Sunday, January 15, 2024, when he attended the Polo Tournament between Customs Players and the Nigeria Army, along with the unveiling of the Nigeria Customs Service’s Polo Shirt at the Nigeria Army Polo Resort in Abuja.
He reiterated, “We will consider officers who have expressed interest in the Polo game here to be the nucleus of our team — and we will give similar encouragement to other Officers to engage in the game.”
Commending the NCS’ representatives at the match, CGC Bashir Adeniyi said, “I am quite impressed with what I have seen, and this will mark the beginning of the resurgence of Polo Games development in Customs.”
Regarding the outstanding performance of the NCS Players during the tournament, CGC Bashir Adeniyi urged Officers and Men of the Service to maintain their fitness and watch their health, as it will translate to the performance of the Service in the areas of revenue generation, facilitating trade, and suppressing smuggling.
He said, “Our job is a very serious one: generating revenue, facilitating trade, fighting against smuggling — and these are serious callings. It requires us to be physically and mentally fit, as doing so will help maintain a delicate balance between the requirements of our work and the need to stay fit.”
Also, the Chairman of the Nigerian Army Polo Association (NAPA), Major-General Adamu Garba Laka, said the main idea behind organizing the tournament was to celebrate Army Remembrance Day and to honor CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR.
“We are organizing the game to remember our fallen heroes, those who spent their lives in the cause of defending our country. Additionally, we organized this match to celebrate our Armed Forces and appreciate the sacrifice that they have made,” Major General Laka said.
He urged other security agencies to follow suit and imbibe the culture of engaging their staff in Polo activities, as the Nigeria Customs Service does. He added, “The easiest way to do that is to invite the big men to come and appreciate their players like CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi.”
Major-General Laka, who recalled how Polo game was first introduced to Nigeria by Colonial Masters in the 60s, expressed happiness that the Nigeria Customs Service has now considered establishing its own club.
The maiden match, which ended with several chukkas, showcased the prowess of the Nigeria Customs Players who emerged victorious. Following their impressive performance, the players were honored with major trophies in a ceremony concluding the tournament. Major-General Adamu Garba Laka, the Chairman of Nigerian Army Polo Association, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of Voice of Nigeria, Jibril Baba Ndace, and Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in-charge Headquarters Olaniyi Alajogun, among others, presented the well-deserved awards.
Chief Superintendent of Customs, Jamilu Haruna Funtua, and Superintendent of Customs Aminu Labaran Kago, representing NCS at the tournament, expressed gratitude to the CGC for gracing their match. They stated that his presence throughout the game served as a morale booster, promising to redouble their efforts to enhance their performance in upcoming matches and bring more trophies to the Service.