MAAG breaks up as ANLCA, NAGAFF withdraw from crisis-ridden body

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has withdrawn its membership of the Maritime Advocacy Action Group (MAAG).

ANLCA National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu who disclosed this via telephone to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY on Wednesday said that his association had lost confidence in the leadership of the group.

He said decisions were being taken by the National Coordinator of MAAG, Alhassan Dantata without recourse to its members.

“We can no longer be a part of such arrangements where things are done with impunity and without regards to the associations that made up the group. We will not subject ANLCA to such ridicule,” Shittu told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY even as he accused Dantata of using the group to pursue selfish agenda.

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) also said it would withdraw its membership of the group.

MAAG was set up last early 2013 as an advocacy group with freight forwarding associations, truck owners associations, and logistics service providers among other trade organizations as members. It was meant to serve as a unified platform where stakeholders could collectively discuss policy and operational issues and proffer solutions.

But barely two months after it was set up, the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, while addressing journalists at the NAGAFF Headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, expressed dissatisfaction with the advocacy group alleging that it may have abused the ideals on which it was established.

He said that the group went contrary to expectation by taking a position on the new automotive policy without the input of the associations it represents.

He said: “We do hope that the organization will play the role that is expected of it. We also do hope that it is not meant to do something that is to the contrary. My concern now and the concern of NAGAFF that I founded is that of this advocacy group; I expect that when there is a major policy direction whatever discussion they hold there, the representatives of the various associations should take that back to their organizations for them to get the position of each organization because your coming together does not in any way impugn on the liberty or authority or the existence of any organization like NAGAFF.”

Aniebonam said that even though the various associations have delegated representatives to sit on the group and discuss salient issues, the representatives do not take positions on the issues on behalf of the associations.

“It came to my knowledge that certain documents went to the National Assembly protesting against the policy direction as far as auto matters are concerned. I was not very comfortable with that because the document they are talking about is not known to us.

“What I am saying is that if there is a policy direction on the part of the executives and they want to write a position paper in that regard that will be binding on the critical elements that came voluntarily, such documents should be directed to the executives that is what I consider as a responsible partnership but where you have an issue which is that of the executives and you are sending it to the National Assembly then you are being confrontational and NAGAFF will not want to participate in matters of that nature.

“If there is a policy direction that policy direction must be talked about in the various associations for the representatives to go back with the position of their organizations,” he said.

The NAGAFF founder said that he has no doubts about the good intentions of the group but warned the group not to repeat the mistake of taking decisions without duly consulting its member associations else “NAGAFF will pull out.”

“NAGAFF has concluded plans to pull out of the group cos its has not achieved the purpose for which it was established but is being used as a tool to achieve the selfish interest of the group. We will issue a press statement to that effect on Monday,” Aniebonam told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY correspondent yesterday.

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