By Joe Sanni
The campaigns for the various National Executive Committee offices has gained feverish proportions amongst the two discernible groups within ANLCA, jostling to take over from the expiring tenure of the Prince Olayiwola Shittu-led National Executive Committee (NECOM), whose constitutionally tenured NECOM expires on the 14th of April, 2018.
The National President has so far stayed aloof the contentions within great ANLCA, which he has consciously and steadfastly raised its profile nationally and internationally with the multiple achievements that are easily discernible especially the Dikko Inde House National Secretariat, amongst other intangibles.
Many aspirants, especially to the office of the National President, which has become very attractive to pursue, have all identified the challenges in the ports system and articulated probable solutions to them.
In view of the many unresolved operational challenges obstructing smooth cargo clearance procedures, devoid of arm-twisting by Nigeria Customs Service, the barefaced arbitrary extortionist tendencies of government agencies, shipping companies and terminal operators in the ports, the quality, experience and political sagacity of contenders, may determine who becomes what in the March 8th, 2018 elections into the National Executive Committee-NECOM of ANLCA.
These and many more challenges are what is propelling almost all the contestants for the various offices, to throw their hats into the ring, to be identified as agents capable of bringing succor to ANLCA’s teeming membership.
Much more, ANLCA has been starved of much needed funds to engage in its various activities consistently. A school of thought is of the opinion that a business-like NECOM is required to harness the various sources of funding, for the benefits of its members. It is also of paramount importance that a political will and connections is required to professionalize customs brokerage services in Nigeria.
Therefore, a constant and focused engagement with the national legislature is absolutely essential. This expectedly, should culminate in the enactment of a Chartered Institute of Customs Brokerage Bill, which will set the template for a complete professionalization and standardization of Customs Brokerage services in Nigeria, in line with international best practices.
It is pertinent at this stage to sound a note of warning – Nobody in the present membership of ANLCA should be ambivalent in the needs of great ANLCA. We all cherish capacity building, as much as we love regular inflow of jobs to our various License Customs Agencies. We must therefore strive a little bit more to drive the process towards gaining the much required attention and space in Nigeria, such that ANLCA can be the very first to be considered in policy formulation, execution and to be the first to be invited by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Blue Chip companies in Nigeria and, individuals within and in the diaspora, to carry out their deliveries.
A critical stage has been arrived at in the almost 64 years of great ANLCA. We must seize this opportunity to elect eligible, experienced, politically savvy, mission-focused, tested and trusted contenders to pilot the affairs of great ANLCA.
Whatever happens, ANLCA must remain united to work collectively to achieve more. Elections are time related. If you don’t win today, tomorrow is another day to try. All voters must believe in the power of their votes to turn things around when it is not favorable, and also sustain a government that caters for the welfare and progress of its membership.
It is expected that members will consciously and honestly take a look at those contesting, and the probability/capacity of them achieving results, without any distractive extraneous factors, capable of obstructing good governance, and vote their conscience.
Joe Sanni is the SSA Media to the ANLCA National President.
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