By Innocent Orok
Stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime industry, especially freight forwarders have called for the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) imbibed professionalism and work together as strong association so to earned respect from the industry practitioners.
In a press statement sent to our Correspondent by Emmanuel Onyeme, National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, this was the position of dignitaries who gathered at the Marcellena’s Place in Ikeja on Thursday for the official inauguration of the recently elected National Executive Committee ( NECOM) members of the association.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of ANLCA, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha has called on all members of ANLCA to be united, let the past gone forever and eschew bitterness and any faction, but to work together to regain the lost of last five years, where the association was in crises.
Mustapha who attributed the five years crises to ego and ANLCA’s members own doing, however pleaded with the National President, Mr Emenike Nwokeoji to be the president of all and carry everyone along so the association can regain the lost glory.
On his part, the Chairman of the event and former Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, advise the ANLCA National President to be a selfless leader, tolerance and work with everybody so ANLCA can be respected.
” As a leader, you should be selfless don’t discriminate on tribe or religion, Ibo, Yoruba or House. As a leader you will be abused , people will lie against you, but be steadfast and courageous to carry everybody along, so the association can be great again”, Dakuku Peterside advised.
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), who was represented by ACG, Zone A, ACG Mohammed Jibo accompanied by Comptroller Dera Nnadi of Tin Can Island Command urged the ANLCA leadership to continue the collaboration with the NCS as they cannot do without each other .
President General of MWUN , Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, National President of NAGAFF, Chief Tochukwu Ezisi, that of NAFFAC, AFFLON and others also grace the event. Of most important was a team of freight forwarders representing the West African region who made financial donation to their ANLCA counterpart were also present at the auspicious occasion.
Top ANLCA Chieftains, from past Presidents, Olayinwola Shittu, Inua Mohammed, Earnest Elochukwu, Patron Taiye Oyeniyi and ANLCA BOT members among top members were duly present at the event.
During his Presentation, the keynote speaker and former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council ( NSC) called on freight forwarders to imbibed the professionalism and not to make their profession all comer affairs or like a tout profession.
He said ANLCA members should raise to their professional callings as their trade is a global one, which is moving with global trend that is technologically driven.
During his opening address the National President of ANLCA, Sir Emenike Nwokeoji has called on members of the association to unite and come together to chart a new course of relevance for the association, for the benefit of her long-suffering members, for Nigeria and for humanity’s sake.
Nwokeoji observed that the call became more pertinent now than ever as the association recently emerged from her over five years of misunderstanding which according to him, was unnecessary and avoidable.
Noting that the NECOM election of 7th September, 2023 which took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos marked the end of over five years of unnecessary and avoidable conflict in ANLCA, the National President maintained that the NECOM election was lost by both contending parties but won by all ANLCA members.
According to him, “The victory belongs to all of us. Building on our Restoration mantra, we have done so much within such a short period in stabilizing the peace of our great association. Peace and Unity are more paramount now than ever before.
“After years of doldrums, we should avoid divisions and work in harmony to collectively project our common heritage before others, particularly, foreigners will shove us behind Once again, let’s join hands with sister associations, we should come together, unite to rescue our profession from outsiders masquerading as either clearing agents or customs brokers before it is too late.”
He, however, sought the support of all the association’s “mutual and common stakeholders” in the pursuit of a mutually beneficial collaboration and partnership in the arduous but not impossible task of leading ANLCA back to both national and international reckoning.
“We intend to hereafter, reach out to all stakeholders to synergize on issues bothering on the advancement of the maritime and aviation industries and in fact, our national policy issues as it affects our sub- sectors, in order to present a formidable and common front”, he assured.
Appreciating members of the association for their resilience, perseverance, understanding and patience during the crisis so much that they never fall for the cajoling of other associations to join them by departing from ANLCA, he also said, “To my Vice President, Prince Segun Oduntan, you have remain a reliable, dependable and trusted ally. And for the women in ANLCA, I cannot thank you less, you deserve my special accolades at this outing. At the appropriate time, you will hear from me.”
“I sincerely send my heartfelt appreciation to my dear wife, Dr. Mrs. Ijeoma Nwokeoji and the entire Nwokeoji family for their support and understanding for the past years that I have devoted my time and resources to the courses of ANLCA.
“Immense gratitude must go to the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN for kick-starting the reconciliation process in ANLCA early this year. In the like manner, the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR for solidifying the reconciliation process on the 15th of July in Abuja through the Customs Consultative Committee, CCC under the able leadership of Aare Hakeem Olanrewaju.
“ANLCA shall continue to be grateful for the role played by these individuals and institutions by passing a reconciled, newer ANLCA. Most specially and in a unique way, my thank goes to the ANLCA Board of Trustees led by my good friend and brother, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and Prince Ozo Chukwura, Chief Elochukwu, Dennis Okafor, Chief Dayo Azeez and others for your resoluteness, commitment, steadfastness in ensuring that all parties were carried along during and after the process. This earned you the confidence, trust and respect of all which enabled you to deliver the most widely acclaimed credible election in the history of almost 70 years of ANLCA even under tensed atmosphere.
“Completing this onerous task to the satisfaction and acceptance of all ANLCA members, contestants and all maritime stakeholders is not a mean feat. And to my former boss, Prince Olayiwola Shittu whose support has been total, I remain eternally grateful. Sincere gratitude to my campaign DG, Chief Sir John Ofobike, Dankatsina and the entire team that midwived this victory.
“The event of today is meant to once again inform the general public and particularly the stakeholders that ANLCA is fully back in the comity of associations in the maritime industry to take its rightful position as the Numero uno customs brokerage/freight forwarding association in Nigeria especially an internationally”, he added.