National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, has warned members of the association not to expect their leaders to assist them in cutting corners.
Shittu, in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office recently, said that although members of the association had every right to seek the help of their chapter executives in resolving challenges they encounter in the course of their operations, they overstep their bounds when they expect to be assisted against the ethics of their profession.
He said: “That is not the policy of ANLCA. If you do the right thing and you are being intimidated or extorted while doing it, it is your right to meet with your chapter executives to have those issues resolved.
“But if you deliberately cut corners, whatever you see at the end, you are on your own. I have even gone out of my way to take issues sometimes, to Federal Operations, Customs Headquarters Abuja and many times, I get there only to be disgraced because the whole truth was not said.”
Shittu who also spoke in response to allegations that his previous administration was not interested in addressing grassroots challenges encountered by members during operations, said that it is the responsibility of the chapter executives of the association to address tackle these challenges.
He explained that the national executives of the association could only be directly involved in the members’ operational challenges when such challenges were beyond the capacity of his chapter lieutenants to address.
“You are aware that sometimes we visit all the CACs to discuss challenges, but the day- to- day running of those issues has to be done by the chapter executives because they are at the grass root.
It is when the chapters are incapacitated or they are unable to perform their function, that is when they invite NECOM and that is what happened during our (first) tenure” Shittu told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
He said that his members expected too much from him if they want him to carry his chair and stay in the port to listen one by one to their problems. He made clear that his responsibility as National President of ANLCA did not entail that.
“My job is to collate all the problems all over the place; articulate them and look at how government policies can be made effective in order to bring succor to our people. So, our own level is at the national sphere, mindful of the fact that whatever we discuss at the national sphere must impact on the generality of the people.
“So until people know how our association is structured, it is not the duty of the president to meddle into how somebody does his job. Don’t forget,we are corporate members and not individual members.
“And a corporate member has to go according to CEMA, according to the rules of the game and if somebody decides to cut corners, we are not supposed to protect that corporate body in cutting corners,” the ANLCA boss reiterated.
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