Ogun Customs promotes national development through youth empowerment

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Ogun Customs promotes national development through youth empowerment

* Mobilises youths at Idiroko border into a football club

The Team

The Ogun 1 Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has demonstrated what can best be described as exemplary leadership in promoting national development through youth empowerment.

The Command following ingenuity and innovative strategies of the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Compt Bamidele Makinde, successfully organised numerous youths into a local football club; in a bid to build their talents in legitimate venture, which will enhance human capital development for optimum economic prosperity.

This initiative by Compt Makinde is most commendable, especially at a volatile terrain like Idiroko, the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic, where smuggling is most prevalent.

Engaging the youths of Idiroko border communities in a productive project will channel their energy into doing something good for their individual development and the economy at large. This implies that Nigeria Customs aside its core functions is equally helping the Federal Government in nation building through youth empowerment.

Speaking during a press conference, Compt Makinde explained that organising the youths into a local football club is part of his Command’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), aimed at harnessing the potentials of young people into something useful for themselves and the nation as a whole.

He emphasised that this laudable initiative in assisting the youths is also a way of giving something tangible back to the host communities where the Command operates.

Interestingly, the turning point is the fact that Customs effort in building this football club is yielding positive results, as the team, known as Customs FC, had already been promoted from Nigeria Nationwide League division 3 to division 2, on July 19, 2022.  And members of the team include young boys desirous to build a career in football.

The CAC asserted :  “Aside proactive operations in checking illicit trade at Idiroko Border, the Command also engages in non-kinetic activities with the objective to make the area
conducive for economic activities to thrive.

“Currently, the Command’s football club (known as Customs FC), which has been in existence for decades was promoted from Nigeria Nationwide league, division three to division two.

“At Present, youths from various border communities across the State constitute majority of the players (about 18 of them).  Another six players are natives of different States of the nation and Benin Republic, while only eight players are officers of Nigeria Customs Service.

“One of the Coaches (a native of Ijebu Ode in Ogun State), Mr Fatai Biliyu is currently undergoing training at the National Institute for Sports, Surulere, Lagos State for one year advance coaching course, being sponsored by the Service.

“One of the advantages derivable from this football club is to keep the youths (native players from the border communities) engaged, so that they may stay away from illicit and criminal activities while ensuring that they earn a decent living.

“In addition, with the recent
promotion to Division two of the National League, the prospect of its promotion to Division one and ultimately to the Premier League is high.

“I wish to add that the mission and vision of the Command are to groom international players of repute and enviable status, who will bring glory to their respective communities”.

The Team

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