Comptroller Uba: Chasing smugglers on land, creeks
By Udeme Clement
Some Customs officers call him fearless, others describe him as the Action Customs Area Controller, CAC, because of his tactics in chasing smugglers on land and creeks. But anyone meeting Comptroller Mohammed Uba, also known as the Game Changer at Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ for the first time may see him as a gentle man because of his innocent look and calm manner of talking. In reality, Uba has a gently look, but this outstanding Customs Officer is not gentle in chasing smugglers, whether on land or in the creeks.
Last week, Uba addressed a press conference for over two hours in heavy rain, even when some newsmen ran to different directions at the Customs warehouse looking for shelter. Some journalists who stood at the background described Uba as being infused with Military mentality by his boss, CGC Ali Hameed, while others admired his articulation and hard working trait.
Infact, Uba is one CAC specialised in chasing smugglers on land, waterways, creeks and border points. Uba has become a thorn in the flesh of illicit business men indulging in nefarious activities in the country.
Comptroller Uba is so skillful at Customs operations, so much that senior officers of FOU describe him as the Game Changer, while Maritime stakeholders called him the Action CAC.
In reality, Uba has become a thorn in the flesh of the dare devil smugglers.
Below are background details of Comptroller Uba, his outstanding achievements and rising profile on the job as exceptional Customs officer.
He joined the Service in 1988, where he served in defunct Gongola State Command, as the OC Border Patrol. He worked at that Command for five years, after which he was posted to Kano in June, 1993. He served in Kano till December the same 1993. While in Kano, he was the sectional OC Baggage, at the Aminu Kano International Airport.
In December 1993, he was posted to Ogun Command, where he was made the OC Surveillance at Idiroko, the border between Nigeria and Republic of Benin. He served there till 1996, and was sent to Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, as Officer in charge of Shed ‘4’. His duty there was examination of cargo.
In July 1997, Uba was again posted to Kano, where he worked as Baggage Coordinator at airport. There, he was Coordinator at Nigerian Airways NAHCO shed till 2004.
That was not all. In March, 2004, Uba was posted to Onne Command in Port Harcourt, as OC Clean Report of Inspection, CRI, a document necessary for clearing of cargo.
In 2005, at Onne Command, Uba became Assistant Comptroller, and was posted as officer in charge of Federal Ocean Terminal, FOT. In April 2008, he was sent to Customs Headquarters, tariff and trade unit, but later posted to Lilypond, as OC Valuation, till 2009.
The same 2009, Uba became Deputy Comptroller, DC.
So, in 2010, he was sent to kirikiri lighter terminal as DC in charge of SDV terminal.
The Journey did not end there. In 2011, he was posted to Tincan Command, as DC export, where he served till 2013. In the same 2013, he was transferred to Port Harcourt Area-1, and was redeployed the same year to Ogun Command as DC in charge of Import, where he served till 2015 when he became COMPTROLLER.
As the job demands, he was posted back to Headquarters in 2015 as Comptroller in charge of tariff. The same year, he was redeployed as Comptroller posting till October 2016, meaning, he didn’t spend a year when he was posted as Comptroller Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘C’ Owerri, in charge of five Eastern States and 6 South/South States (11 States together).
In May 2017, he assumed office as CAC of FOU Zone ‘A’, Lagos, where he has been chasing smugglers day and night.