Farinto replies Joe Sanni over “smugglers beat customs at Tincan, PTML” comment


…Says he’s not speaking for ANLCA

Following a rejoinder/rebuttal made by the suspended National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr. Joe Sanni, accusing the National Vice President of the association, Dr. Kayode Farinto of sponsoring a publication with the caption, “How Smugglers Beat Customs Watchful Eyes At Tincan, PTML Commands”, Dr. Farinto has described the views expressed in the said rejoinder or any other publication from Joe Sanni as his personal opinion which does not represent the position of ANLCA.

Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Thursday, Farinto dissociated ANLCA from the write up adding that Joe Sanni was not representing ANLCA in any capacity as he was still under suspension even as he urged the media to contact the National President of the association or himself if they should need any story or clarification from the association.

“The President has SSA Media, so, he is not representing ANLCA in any form”, he submitted.

While noting that the objective of ANLCA was to protect her members not to put them in trouble, the NVP stated, “I am also a clearing agent, I am not a farmer, I clear vehicles on weekly basis in both PTML and Tincan, I am aware that legitimate vehicles come out of Tincan. To now say that they smuggle vehicles, I wonder where he got his story from.”

According to him, “The question you should be asking Joe Sanni is that when was the last time he collected bill of lading for him to be able to know whether vehicles are being smuggled in Tincan or not. The problem with Joe Sanni is that he has a problem which we cannot even be sure of his psychiatric status, so he is incoherent, a normal human being will not release press statements at 1am or 2am, it shows that that person is suffering from insomnia, when he cannot sleep, he begins to write rubbish. I want to put that record straight, so whatever he has said, he is entitled to his opinion.

“Number one, ANLCA believes in the leadership of customs in Tincan and PTML, we believe in our members and they are doing legitimate work.

“However, I have written a proposal before to the CG that there is need for us to have uniform value on vehicles and I am an apostle of that. I keep saying it at every fora. I met the Customs Controller, one of the ACGs and I told him that the CG has directed that a committee should be set up to have a uniform value on vehicles but I don’t know why tariff and trade department is still sitting on it and they have not called us for a meeting to have a critical look at the paper that they have so that it will go a long way in reducing corruption, it will go a long way in making us have a harmonious value so that whatever you clear a vehicle in Tincan, you clear in Apapa, even in the land borders. I am an apostle of that and the CGC has approved that.

“Secondly, there is no agent that knows his onion that will be involved in smuggling; the agents in Tincan Island and PTML are responsible agents. So, Joe Sanni should come and tell us where he is getting his story from. You know why I am not perplexed? Let me give you a story, when the CGC came onboard, we had a meeting with him towards the tail end of Shittu’s administration, surprisingly, Joe Sanni recorded our meeting because we had an agreement then that the meeting was going to be no holds bar so that we should be able to tell ourselves the truth but whatever we discussed there should be in-house because customs and agents have symbiotic relationship. But surprisingly, Joe Sanni went to the street and started selling the proceedings of the meeting on videos and that was what started our problem with this present customs administration and that is why it has been difficult for us to see the CGC because he no longer trust us based on what Joe Sanni did that time.

“When he now came onboard as the NPS of ANLCA, he should tell us what he has done. That is even another story. But what I want to tell you emphatically is that he is not representing ANLCA in any status henceforth and he will continue to be suspended until NEC decides otherwise. So, whatever he releases to the public is his personal opinion and ANLCA has never said that smuggled vehicles are coming out from Tincan and PTML.”

Reacting to the allegation that he sponsored the journalist to publish that story through Mr. Aloy Anokwuru, Dr. Farinto queried, “Since you know me, have I ever, even if I want to abuse the President (Buhari), have I ever gone through a third party? I would have invited the press and they put me on record. Whatever I say and I wouldn’t be able to justify it is not me. There was never a time where I will say anything through Aloy, as what? For what? That is Joe Sanni for you and I see the way he was trying to run down the gentleman, that is Dapo, Dapo and I, don’t we have differences? That does not mean I would run him down. A mature man, a godly man will not run down his fellow man. When I read all he said, I just laughed.

“It is also true that I put up a write up in one of the Dailies recommending the MD of NPA as Minister of Transportation, it is true, it is in public domain, May 29, 2019 Nation’s publication and I am not denying that fact that I recommended that the ES should be elevated based on their records. Look at what we are having in the maritime now, nothing is moving, everything is stagnant.

“So, the issue of Joe Sanni, I wouldn’t want the public to be disturbed about that but I think he needs psychiatric examination for us to be able to know his status and if he has health challenges, he should say it out so that people can help him not running down people, not running down organizations particularly the younger agents that are reading through these media. It is unfortunate. Joe Sanni should tell the public the last time he collected bill of lading to clear anything from the port.”

Photo: National Vice President of ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Farinto.

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