Organised Festival of Art, panacea for youth restiveness – Customs


By Abiodun OBA


The Customs organised Festival of Art has been described as a panacea for youth restiveness and encouragement for the development of skills in creative art.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Ogun 1 Area Command, Comptroller Ahmadu Shuaibu, stated during the 3rd edition of the festival with the theme: “The Role of Nigeria Customs Service in Economic Development and National Security.”

In his welcome address, the CAC commended the organizer, Dr. Bonny Botoku, for his initiative. He congratulated the participants, especially the younger ones for the opportunity to participate.

Shuaibu described the programme as a panacea for youth restiveness and encouraged the development of skills in creative art.

He also emphasized the importance of creative art in attracting tourists and as a viable means of livelihood. The CAC reassured continuous support from the Command for the festival’s sustainability.

Dr Bonny A. Botoku, the programme initiator, stated during his speech that his passion for art inspired him to initiate the festival to encourage the younger generation interested in it.

He mentioned the careful selection of event dates, especially Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2024, to celebrate youth in a more constructive manner aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Botoku explained his collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) due to its significant contributions to the economy and national security and appreciated the Command’s support in ensuring the festival’s success.

Assistant Comptroller of Customs Emmanuella Chukwu, the guest speaker at the symposium, highlighted the core functions of NCS, including revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, facilitation of lawful trade, and security of the nation’s borders.

She identified various revenues generated from import duties, excise duties, auction sales, and export proceeds as parts of the way NCS contributes to the development of the nation.

Chukwu emphasised NCS’s role in anti-smuggling activities and counter-terrorism efforts as a means through which it contributes to national security.

The Festival of Art for Economic Development programme was organised by The Integration of Art Palace and Tour company, in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun 1 Area Command.

The event was attended by participants from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Yaba College of Technology, and selected secondary schools in Ipokia Local Government Area, among others.

On the first day, participants paid homage to the Oniko of Ikolaje Idiroko, Oba John Olakunle Ojo JP.

On the second day, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Hammed Oloyede, took the participants on a tour of Sentry Customs House, where seized vehicles, petroleum products, and perishable items were warehoused.

The destruction site for seized frozen poultry products and the circumstances surrounding the seizure of prohibited items were explicitly explained to the participants.

On the third day of the event, a symposium was held in the Conference room of the Command’s Headquarters.

Dignitaries in attendance included the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Ogun 1 Area Command, Comptroller Ahmadu Shuaibu, his management team, Director of DSS, Mr IK Ikiriko, heads of other agencies, and the Deputy Mayor of Ifoyin Municipality, Igolo, Republic of Benin.

The grand finale, marking the end of the occasion, took place at the Integration Art Palace and Tour Cultural Center in Idiroko.

Certificates of participation were presented to the participants by the Customs Area Controller, represented by Deputy Comptroller Administration, DC Charles Ogunesan.

Prizes were awarded to the top three secondary school participants based on performance, with consolation prizes given to others for encouragement.

The art exhibition was officially opened by the CAC’s representative, and it continues until the end of February.

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