…As Iju Nwabunike pledges to ensure ‘Ease of Doing Business’ Success***
The former President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu proudly declared Saturday, that ANLCA under his watch not only laid strong foundation to meet national aspirations in the sphere of ensuring honest, modern cargo facilitation, but also grew the body into a truly national body.
Already, the first test of the foundation structure Shittu crafted has culminated in the peaceful removal of the ANLCA Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Henry Njoku and subsequent replacement by another candidate Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, via free and fair election weekend, to enable the body retain its national character status, and eliminate the danger of seemingly swallowed up, by Igbo people.
Shittu made the observation at the Lagos Golden Tulip Hotel, while handing over after eight years to his successor, Iju Nwabunike, who pledged to fully collaborate with every stakeholder, particularly the Government agencies to eliminate operational bottlenecks, and ensure the success of Government’s vision on the ease of doing business within and beyond the ports.
“It was a tough journey, it was a scratch but with the little we have done, our incoming executive should build on it. The ANCLA is an ongoing project, just like Nigeria.
There are going to be many presidents and some will pass on, so also, some of our members are going to pass on, but ANCLA is going to continue and that must be our watchword! If you find out anything wrong with what the President is doing, reach out to him, like I would take myself as an example, I hurt some people, and marched on some toes, just to get the jobs done; may God heal the toes and may the new president be stronger!”, Prince Shittu indicated, stressing that the ‘hand-over day’ he had strenuously anticipated and prayed for, had finally come.
“I knew the day world come, and has been working continuously towards the day…the journey had been tough, but a strong foundation has been laid for our successors to build on.
“One thing I want to say to all my colleagues here today is that election in ANCLA has become a system of envy; unlike all elections in Nigeria, there will be disagreements but once election is over, nobody has the right to question the collective decision of the majority, over the minority. I always believe in patience. …Some people who wanted positions of authority and didn’t make it; today, they are already greater than what they were fighting for, our vice president is an example; former president is also an example.
The issue is, at that time, it would seem that the world has come to an end; but, the world mustn’t end that way; for the world will succeed all of us, whether we like it or not”, Prince Shittu counseled further, gracefully bowing out, while the ovation was loudest.
The ANLCA’s new president, Nwabunike on taking over, promised to work with the government to reduce bottle neck in order to ease of doing business in Nigeria, stressing that the welfare of retirees and other members would be a priority of the association.
“We will work to assist Government in reducing Administrative bottle necks in our sector, in support of its efforts to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria. We will also work with Government in eliminating the duplication of its agencies and the harmonization of charges at the ports; in the reduction of excessive taxes and charges; in the reduction of automobile tariffs, and in the reduction of Port congestion by including border ports 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.
“This administration must 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 Freight forwarding and Customs Brokerage.
“My administration will embark on the Development of a befitting Customs Brokers Village with State of the art training facilities. Ancillary services such as Conference centre, Medical Clinic and a Hotel in the facility will 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.
“One of the main thrust 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 programs for all our members to improve service delivery, the standardization of our operations and processes, which I believe is the objective of making ANLCA a truly professional body ”, President Nwabunike stated further.
The BOT chairman, Chief Henry Njoku, after congratulating the new president, advised him to always be guided by the constitution, promising that the Board of Trustees will always be there to support the association towards greater heights.
“Mr. President, always be guided by the dictates of our Constitution. Please ensure that you respect the doctrine of Separation of Powers as enshrined in the Constitution. This is the only sure way to avoid frictions and unnecessary disagreements. It is my advice that you borrow a leaf from the immediate National Executive who thought wise in organizing leadership training sessions nationally and internationally for effective articulation of policies and widening of scope of knowledge for greater achievement of purpose.
“I assure you that we at the Board of Trustee of our Great Association will always support you to achieve all desired goals”, Chief Njoku concluded.