The President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Tony Iju Nwabunike has called on aggrieved members of the association to cast aside their differences, unite and embrace peace to move the association forward.
ANLCA has been embroiled in crisis since Nwabunike assumed office on April 14, 2018 after defeating Emenike Nwokeoji over leadership tussle on the Chairmanship of the association’s Board of Trustees (BoT).
Speaking in Lagos on Tuesday while presenting his scorecard in the last one year, Nwabunike urged members of the association to refrain from washing their dirty linens in public.
He however vowed to uphold the constitution of the association, stating that the constitution should be seen as supreme and above any other personnel interest.
He said, “Let me assure us that we are going to achieve peace. As long as the peace is going to be rooted, we are going to embrace it. As long as peace is for the genuine transformation of the association, we must accept it. As long as we are living, let us not continue to wash our dirty linen outside. We have to cultivate the idea of washing our dirty linen in our laundry.
“We must work according to the constitution. We need to know what we ought to do as president, NECOM members and chapter chairmen. The constitution is the only premise that you have to do things right but when you begin to do things as old order, when you think you can do things and go away with it, we will say no to it. We are going to be very strict on the constitution.”
Speaking on his achievements, Nwabunike said despite the infighting in the association, his administration with the support of the NECOM within the period under review had made progress in addressing some operational challenges faced by members.
He said the ANLCA national secretariat had also been remodelled in terms of infrastructure and other equipment with a promise that the remaining three years of his administration will be a vibrant one.
Highlighting some successes achieved in port operational challenges, the Vice President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto said the leadership of the association has been able to resolve the issue of maritime police interference in cargo clearance at the port.
According to him, “The maritime police can no longer stop your cargo unnecessary and if they must stop your cargo, they must do it in conjunction with the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC). We are also working with the NSC on scrapping container deposit.
On Customs operation, he said, “We have written series of letters to the World Customs Organization (WCO) on what Customs is doing whether it is in line with international best practice because we noticed we now have a Comptroller-General (of Customs) that is more powerful than the Minister of Finance which is suppose to be the other way.
“We are also clamouring that the next level of this government should give us a career officer as Comptroller-General. With that, we will achieve more.”
Farinto said the administration also focused on the training and retraining of the association’s members in the past one year.