ANLCA Crisis: Committee directs NECOM to vacate office in two weeks


…ASECO to conduct NECOM election within one month

…Adopts 2013 Constitution as valid

The 7 man Reconciliation Committee set up by the Customs Consultative Council, CCC has directed the Tony Iju Nwabunike led National Executive Committee, NECOM of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA to round up and hand over the affairs of the association to the Board of Trustees, BoT in two weeks time.

This is part of the resolutions taken at a reconciliation meeting held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Wednesday.

The meeting also resolved that the Association Electoral Committee, ASECO set up for the conduct of the NECOM election should conclude the election within four weeks from the 19th of July, 2023.

It will be recalled that ANLCA has been bedevilled with internal leadership crisis for over Five (5) years thereby creating professional, administrative and social challenges which had caused substantial damage to the industry and the nation as a whole.

To this end, a seven man reconciliation committee comprising of a former Chairman of the Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, Aare Hakeem Olanrewaju as Chairman and a former National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Dr. Eugene Nweke as Secretary was set up by the CCC to resolve the crisis.

Others members of the Committee are: DCG Austen Warikoru Rtd., DCG Liman Bello Rtd., Mrs. CFO Ezenwa, Compt. Dimka Victor Rtd. and Alhaji Inua Mohammed (Former National President of ANCLA) as members.

Other key important personalities invited to assist the committee towards achieving peace are; Chief Peter Eloka Okocha, Sir Ernest Elochukwu, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, Barrister Hassan Bello (who doubled as Special Guest of Honour), Eze Amb. Damian Obinigwe, Chief Oye Ariyo and Alhaji Toyin Odeyemi.

Speaking in a presentation titled: “The Desirous Peace In ANCLA Administration As Panacea For Professional Growth and Practitioner’s Wellbeing”, a former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello observed that the lingering internal leadership differences in the past five years had negatively affected the profession insisting that practitioners were confronted with several administrative and operational challenges.

He concluded by calling on the leadership to let go of their differences and pursue common cause of professional leadership direction and tackle concerns raised for the overall professional cum industry growth.

The committee, in its quest to resolve the matter between the feuding factions amicably, assured members that it was not a panel of inquiry and was not set up to apportion blames or take sides. It however, urged parties concerned to speak their minds without fear or favour by making statements, claims and expectations with a view to finding lasting solutions and chart the way forward for the Association.

The Committee further extended to the former Presidents, Board Chairmen and key members of the executive, the opportunity to speak and counsel the factions to douse the tension and reach amicable resolutions.

In the course of the meeting, it was noted that, “There was no major conflict amongst members but misunderstanding of certain policy intentions. Polarization crept into the association due to factional differences which manifested into primordial sentiments.

“Most of the crisis were triggered by election of members of the Board and the Executive. Election of individuals and appointment of persons into positions were not done by merit, competence and capability but on sentimental, factional basis and other primordial considerations.

“CRFFN which is the regulating body has not been able to give strong and adequate professional leadership. Disputes amongst members were hastily taken to court without exhausting internal mechanism for resolving disputes. Members that lose elections do not accept defeat in good fate. Many of the past executives invested their personal resources in the interest of the association.

“In some instances, very serious matters were swept under the carpet instead of addressing them and allowing justice prevail. The Association has been operating three versions of its constitution; i.e. the 2008, 2013 and 2020 constitutions. The 2013 version was the one registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, but they noted that the 2013 document was not ratified by the AGM.

“The house agreed that a constitutional amendment could be done, if need be, after all elections. The Association cannot be allowed to fold up/suffer because of needless crisis. They all share a common sentiment that the association must be kept alive and all members are willing to make the necessary.”

Having established the problems, the meeting recommended that “The 2013 constitution remains the reference point of the association, therefore, decisions reached at this reconciliation meeting will be based on the 2013 constitution deposited with the CAC.

“Members of the presently constituted ASECO should continue in office subject to confirmation by the CCC that all members of the commission hold valid licenses.

“The Board of Trustees as presently constituted by the CRFFN should continue in office subject to the verification of the members’ licenses by the CCC pending the election of a new Board by ASECO within the earliest possible time.

“ASECO should conduct a new NECOM election within one month from the date of this meeting,19th of July, 2023.

“A press release be jointly signed by the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Board of the association to the effect that an agreement has been reached on the present NECOM to round up in the next two weeks after which it will hand over the affairs of the Association to the Board while ASECO concludes the election within four weeks from today, the 19th of July, 2023.

“There should be an internal redress mechanism to be used by members before recourse to court or any external body.

“All pending court cases be withdrawn forthwith and the association be given an opportunity to address the issues internally.

“The licenses of BOT members and ASECO members as presently constituted should be verified by the CCC within one week from the date of this meeting being 19th July 2023.”

A motion to adopt this communique was moved by Prince Michael Oyeniyi and seconded by Barr. Enekwechi Raymond Onyinba as members present were unanimously appreciative of the initiative by the  Customs Consultative Council to broker the truce amongst feuding factions to end the lingering crisis and enable the association to chart a way forward.

In attendance to the meeting and signatories to the peace accord include: Aare Hakeem Olanrewaju- Chairman, DCG Austen Warikoru Rtd- Member, DCG Liman Bello Rtd- Member, Mrs CFO Ezenwa – Member, CAC Dimka Victor Rtd- Member, Alh. Inua Mohammed (Former National President of ANCLA)- Member, Dr. Eugene Nweke Rff (Secretary), Alhaji Inua Mohammed, Bar. Hassan Bello, Chief Peter Okocha and Chief Ernest Elochukwu.

Others are: Prince Olayiwola Shittu, Chief Henry Njoku, HRH Eze Amb Damian Obinigwe, Chief Oye Ariyo, Prince Taye Oyeniyi, Alh. Taiwo Mustapha, Prince, Ozo Chukwurah, Chief Dayo Azeez, Chief Emenike Nwokeoji, Segun Oduntan and Abdulrahim A. Abdul.

Also in the meeting are: Hajia Bola Muse, Alh. Abdulazeez Babatunde, Chief Bayo Oyekanpin, Bar. Enekwechi Onyimba, Mr Joe Sanni, Dr. Fayinto Kayode, Dr. Okonkwo Obecee, Eniola Igbaroola, Chief Kingsley Offor, Alhaji Lameen Aliyu and Chief Michael Ebeatu.

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