Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has described Mrs Katherine Ekekezie, immediate past Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentive as a
brilliant administrator’’ whose interventions in the management of the free zone scheme helped positioned it for global competitiveness. Adesugba made the remark in Abuja while bidding the former customs officer farewell. The NEPZA boss, himself a former customs officer used the occasion to reminisce on some of the official activities both did together while in service, adding that Ekekezie had always showed uncommon brilliance on any assigned tasks. I have known DCP Katherine Chinwe Ekekezie for decades during which time we shared knowledge on various customs’ job specifications and their complexities. She was always learning and perfecting her skills on those duties much more than her peers.
I am, therefore, not surprised about her uncommon patriotism, skills and rectitude in the manner she had managed her role in the free trade zone circle. Ekekezie, did bring in marvelous suggestions and inputs that shaped the Authority’s relationship with the Nigeria Customs service. We have also inputted most of her contributions into our strategy plan which continue to give the scheme global recognition’’, Adesugba said.
Adesugba further explained that the former customs chief was often times caught between making the free trade zone to have greater meaning in the industrialisation process of the country and radically insisting on the collections of taxes and levies.
He noted that Ekekezie had always allowed the legal framework of both organisations to guide her decisions without soppiness.
The managing director, therefore, said that the service must ensure that the officer who would take over the position must be one with similar skills, knowledge and disposition toward the greater good of the scheme.
In another development, the NEPZA boss used the occasion to deliver to Ekekezie an award from the National Association of Retired Para-military Officers (NARPO), Abuja Chapter in recognition of her “Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to NARPO and Nigeria’’.
Recall that Adesugba was among the earliest convener of this body and had served as its chairman for eight years.