Nwabunike commends IGP over reopening of ANLCA Secretariat


…Says there’s no leadership tussle in ANLCA

The National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Iju Tony Nwabunike has commended the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali for ordering the immediate reopening of the association’s secretariat upon hearing all sides of the matter.

Nwabunike who gave the commendation in a statement on Monday stated that the IGP’s fairness and commitment to peace in ANLCA had been very instructive right from his days as AIG Maritime.

While noting that it had become imperative to rebuild confidence in the teeming members of the association and reassure them of absolute reliability on his leadership, he insisted that there was no leadership tussle in ANLCA adding that the real leader and recognized group that would never want the association destroyed were known.

According to him, “We are daily reminded to look at the biblical analogy taken from 1King 3:16-28 where King Solomon used his God given wisdom to adjudicate between two mothers over a disputed child.

“All that concerned the one who was not the child’s mother was destruction for everybody to lose out by having a baby cut in two parts so each disputing mother will have half of a dead and cut child. This never went well with the true mother who would prefer to lose her son to another woman than to have him killed.

“The real ANLCA leadership and its known Board of Trustees who won elections would not be part of arson, wanton attack on the Secretariat and pushing to get it locked up or rejoicing whenever it is sealed.

“With the Solomon analogy, we know those who prefer that ANLCA be cut into two equal parts like the disputed baby with each useless part held by two sides as a solution without minding if the body survives or not.

“We are committed to survival, growth and development of ANLCA and will not betray the mandate given to us to lead it which expires in April 2023.

“Recall that after an attack on our Secretariat on October 6, 2020 by hoodlums armed with guns, cutlasses, charms and other dangerous items, we lost over N20 million worth of property. Our members and Secretariat staff on ground were beaten up and harassed by hired thugs in this incident.

“While the Police and our national officers are taking inventory of any loss or damage from the recent attack, without accusing anyone, some persons have started faulting our stock taking move in a panicky display. We won’t watch our dear association destroyed while we fold our hands. Whatever lawful means available to seek redress and get justice is what we will perpetually be committed to.

“A licensed customs agent is not expected to be a thug or promoter of thugs to unleash attack on the Secretariat of the foremost body of professionals in customs brokerage in Nigeria. We are never part of ‘if we can’t have it, let’s destroy it mentality.’ My administration has always been open to reconciliation in the interest of one united and indivisible ANLCA.”

He, however, enjoined all members of the association across the country to be continually law abiding and report attack or threat to attack them to the Police even as he extended the olive branch to former members of the association who showed remorse and true repentance.

“We may review the various sanctions ranging from suspension to expulsion and grant them amnesty for readmission if they truly change and resolve to abide by our constitution. This is not out of fear or cowardice and therefore, should not be taken for granted because under my watch, any form of indiscipline or lawless behavior will not be condoned.

“Out Secretariat is open and functioning for our members use and operation while as leaders, we keep working towards a more peaceful and orderly body. ANLCA as a body of professionals shall continually pursue the interest of the national economy by supporting the federal government ease of doing business and trade facilitation agenda.

“Our attention must not be lost on key economic issues like the controversial Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation, abusive collection of samples from imported cargoes by the agents of government, alleged wanton extortion along port corridors and within the port.

“We shall also support government initiative to ensuring regulatory and security agencies abide by appropriately specified Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) aimed at making our seaports, airports and approved land border stations work in synchrony with international best practices”, he said.

The ANLCA National President, however, appreciated all members of the National Executive Committee (NECOM) of the association who through the trying period joined him in working tirelessly for the association.

“The Board members led by the Vice Chairman, Chief Ozo Chukwurah, the Patrons led by Chief Henry Njoku, National VP, Dr. Collins Farinto, National Secretary, National Financial Secretary and other NECOM members showed their commitment to truth, fairness and loyalty to our great association all through. Worthy of commendation also, is the steadfastness of our Western Zonal Chairman and Compliance Team in the face of the recent impasse”, he further stated.

Photo: Iju Tony Nwabunike, National President, ANLCA.

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