The newly elected President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike yesterday took his oath of office with a promise to collaborate with the Presidency, the National Assembly and other government agencies at the ports and border posts in policy formulation and implementation as it affects the freight forwarders and customs brokerage.
Nwabunike who was elected ANLCA President on the 8th of March, 2018 in Enugu promised to work to assist government in reducing administrative bottlenecks in the maritime sector as well as in support of its efforts to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
According to him, “We will also work with government in eliminating the duplication of its agencies and the harmonization of charges at the ports, the reduction of excessive charges and taxes, and the reduction of port congestion by including border posts for clearing of automobiles and the total elimination of foreigners and unlicensed personnel into our profession.
“We must continue to advocate for improved welfare of our members by providing a pension scheme for retirees and different classes of insurance for members. This will also be implemented at the regional/local secretariats of our association. In order to achieve this, we shall work hard to develop a revenue generation platform that will enable the implementation of this welfare scheme at all levels”.
He further stated that his administration would embark on the development of a befitting Customs Brokers’ Village with a State of the Art training facilities adding that ancillary services such as conference centre, medical clinic and a hotel in the facility would ensure that national and international trainings can be hosted in the village.
“It will not only provide the platform for improved service delivery, further growth and development of ANLCA but will also become a centre to galvanize members, stakeholders and the public”, he added.
He continued,” One of the main thrusts of my administration is to work for the registration and conferment of the status of a Chartered institute of Customs Brokers. This will enable us develop certification training programme for all our members to improve service delivery, the standardization of our processes and operations which I believe is the objective of making ANLCA a truly professional body”.
The new ANLCA boss therefore congratulated the outgone executives led by Prince Olayiwola Shittu for providing exceptional leadership and for their exemplary performance during their tenure noting that their achievements had left indelible marks for peace and progress giving them the right foundation for the growth and development of the association.
Earlier in an address, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of ANLCA, Chief Henry Njoku thanked the outgone National President and his executives, the Board members, all chapter executives and indeed every member of the association for all the efforts made to move the association forward.
He conveyed his deep feeling of gratitude to the former National President and his team for a job well done saying that they had no doubt written their names in gold on the sands of time.
In his words, “I thank you for your sense of duty, dedication and drive. I thank you most especially because in spite of the various difficulties and challenges, you remained committed to the fundamental objectives of our noble association. Eight years ago, you mounted the saddle, looking back; one has many reasons to congratulate you for this is the first time in many years we are having a smooth and successful transition without rancor or ill feelings. I consider this as one of your greatest achievements, the legacy of peace”.
The BOT Chairman reminded the incoming executive that the task before them will be very tough even as he expressed firm trust in their capacities, intelligence, political and moral will to deliver on their mandate admonishing them to work as a team driven by passion to serve, to do the right and good to all.
He charged the National President saying, “remember, you were not elected to serve any tribe or religion, as our National President, you are neither Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba nor Efik. You are simply but fundamentally the National President of ANLCA”.
Also speaking, the former President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu advised the new President not to prejudge people but deal with everyone as if they were the same.
“In the beginning, you will be owned by a section because people who worked hard for you to emerge but as soon as you come in, both the ones who worked and the ones who did not work, they belong to people you must cater for. I am not the one to give advice to you publicly, in fact, I don’t have advice to give because I know you very well and with Alhaji Hakeem around here, he knows where we came from.
“One salient point I want to say to all our colleagues here today, election in ANLCA has become an institution, a system of envy but like all elections in Nigeria, it will be contentious, there will be disagreements but once elections are over, nobody has the right to question the collective will of the majority over the minority. I have always believe in patience, history in ANLCA has told us that some people wanted a position in ANLCA, they didn’t get it and today, they became greater than what they were fighting for before. Our present Vice President is an example, our former President, Elochukwu is an example but the issue is that time it hurts you, you feel that is the end of the world, the world doesn’t end that way, the world will succeed all of us whether we like it or we don’t like it.
“I will like to thank my fellow executives; it was a tough journey, we have to scratch but I am happy the little we have done, our incoming executives can build upon it. ANLCA is an ongoing project just like Nigeria, there is going to be so many presidents and some presidents will pass on, so also some of our members will pass on but ANLCA will continue to remain. That must be the watchword of every one of us. If you find anything wrong with what the president is doing, reach out to him, he is not infallible and I take myself as example. I hurt a lot of people because I had to get the job done. I will like to say, those of you I matched your toes, may God heal your toes…”
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