The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) said it named its new multi-million naira permanent national secretariat after the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi because of his transformation agenda and introduction of “home grown clearing process.”
National Secretary of ANLCA, Dr. Emmanuel Oparah, in a statement sent to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday, said that the association needed to make the clarification to clarify speculations surrounding the recent commissioning of the secretariat.
He said: “Our attention has been drawn to spurious allegations, half-truths and unsubstantiated facts about the coming into being of our New National Secretariat. In order to correct this impression the general public is hereby notified of efforts made by individuals and corporate bodies to the realization of our Permanent National Secretariat Project.
“The Secretariat Project was conceived during the tenure of the past BOT led by Chief Henry I. Njoku. A nine member building committee was set up by the National President headed by Chief Henry I. Njoku.”
Oparah said that in order to raise required funds to acquire the secretariat, the Njoku-led committee compelled all ANLCA corporate members to contribute N50,000 development levy towards the permanent secretariat project and source for funds from individuals and corporate bodies including ANLCA members.
He said the committee also decided that the highest individual contributor will have the national secretariat named after him or her.
“These recommendations were validated by the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of 7th Nov., 2013 at Port Harcourt and reinforced at various other meetings thereafter.
“Some highly placed individuals in the Oil & Gas industry including the clients of the National President and Chairman BOT who believed in this lofty dream offered to bank-roll the acquisition of the secretariat but would rather want to remain anonymous to avoid the ugly trend of blackmail, rumours and untruth which is presently trending in the maritime mail.
“Among these individuals were a group of friends of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) who also desire to remain anonymous, but wish to identify with the reforms the Nigeria Customs Service and Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) are doing for the National Economy and thereby contributed immensely towards this project.
“All contributions were made through ANLCA Project Account operated jointly with the board and will be handed over to our external Auditors at the appropriate time.
“Noteworthy are contributions made by staff and friends of ANLCA including but not limited to Fancy photos. Almost all chapter executives in our 17 chapters also made generous contributions with committed gusto.
“This is an attestation to the respect enjoyed by the National Executive Committee (NECOM) of ANLCA for its uprightness, integrity and commitment to the ideals of ANLCA and the upliftment of its noble goals,” he stated.
He said in addition to his transformation of the Nigeria Customs Service and introduction of home grown clearing process; the permanent secretariat was named after Dikko to recognise “his support for ANLCA’s quest for professionalism; his adherence to WCO/WCBO directives for customs authorities of member countries to partner with custom brokers in their respective countries; and finally for the recognition of his achievements by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the award of MON and CFR within his tenure as the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service.
“We enjoin our detractors to imbibe the culture of working for the common good and not individual pockets. In ANLCA the wave of change is continuous and no amount of blackmail will detract us from fulfilling the pledges we made to our members who gave us their mandate freely,”