Acting Comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi has led officers and men of the service, including members of the management team, and representatives of military and paramilitary institutions, to marathon route march — as part of his move to keep his men in a state of sound physical and mental fitness.
The trekking exercise, which had a theme “Work-Life Balance: Balancing for a Better Tomorrow”, commenced in the early hours of Saturday, 23 September 2023, from Customs headquarters in Wuse Zone 3 to the newly built Customs House in Maitama Area, all in Abuja — the Federal Capital Territory.
The Customs CG said the brisk walk is a strategic approach to enhance the agility of the officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He also disclosed that over the last 16 years, the service has established 32 clinics and medical centres all over the country to take care of the officers and men of the service.
While that has proven to be an effective strategy, Adeniyi said “a more sustainable approach lies in our effort to promote a healthy work-life balance among our officers.”
Represented at the event, the chairman/CEO of NDLEA, Buba Marwa who congratulated Customs for the initiative, also said “Work-life balance can only be achieved in a drug-free society.”
Speaking after the route march, the Ag. CGC posited that the exercise is aimed at keeping officers physically and mentally fit to enable them discharge their duties effectively. “Today marks a significant milestone in our journey towards a more balanced life,”/he said, while describing it as a transformative initiative that reflects the core value of the service.
“Our operatives work under conditions that do not promote health. Those working in big cities are forced to acquire life where their commitment is overwhelmingly skewed in favour of work at the expense of their well-being.
“The implication of this preponderance is shown in the many reported medical conditions among our workforce. We are witnessing an increase in the reported cases of avoidable disease like low blood sugar, high blood sugar, blood pressure, weight control and obesity,” Adeniyi said while addressing the participants in the over one hour exercise.
Apart from brisk walk, he also encouraged officers to engage in other forms of exercise like sport, mountain climbing, dancing and all other recreational activities.
“The benefits are profound – it promotes physical and mental wellbeing and ensuring that we live healthy and resilient in the face of life challenges. Balancing work and life helps to reduce stress level, allowing us to approach our task with a clearer mind and greater focus.
“It helps to enhance our productivity at work, enabling us to accomplish more. It also strengthens our relationship with family and friends. Work-life balance provides the opportunity for personal growth, enabling us to pursue all these interests and education,” he stressed.
The Customs chief also mentioned that the exercise will facilitate the unity and love between Customs officers across the federation, saying that “participating in this brisk walking exercise fosters friendship and unity and sense of shared purpose amongst us.”
The brisk walking exercise was attended by Federal Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Nigerian Correctional Center, Immigration Service, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and Nigeria Army.