ANLCA acting president, Dr. Kayode Farinto addressing the people at the meeting.
Story by Dili Utomi.
There was a meeting of two associations, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) which was visited by the executive members of the Council of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations (COMTUA) with the the Acting National President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto (PhD) leading the National Secretary Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde and other ANLCA stakeholders to play host to COMTUA led by their National President Prince Adeyinka Taofek Aroyewun at the ANLCA National Secretarait, Dikko Inde House, Amuwo Odofin. The meeting was at the request of COMTUA.
The National President of COMTUA said that they recognise ANLCA as the foremost maritime association in Nigeria and a group that has become indispensable in the system. He explained that COMTUA is a Council that coordinates the activities of all 5 unions in the maritime transport industry including the relatively popular AMATO. He said that COMTUA has never had a significant meeting like this and will take advantage of the golden opportunity. He further explained that the problems confronting COMTUA is overwhelming and except they collaborate with a formidable association like ANLCA, the challenges may overwhelm them.
A group photograph after the meeting.
Earlier in his Welcome Address Dr Farinto thanked COMTUA for coming, he said that the visit is like home coming and that the synergy between ANLCA and COMTUA is necessary for their collective interests. He told his audience that ANLCA National Secretariat is ICT compliant and that the two associations have a lot to benefit when they collaborate. He noted that ANLCA is willing to work with any association willing to work with ANLCA. Dr. Farinto maintained that there are a lot to learn because NIMASA, NSC, NCS and a whole lot of government parastatals and agencies are taking advantage of the ignorance of players in the maritime industry to short change them. He gave example of the government sponsored financing available through cabotage law. He regretted that the fund is not being accessed because those that the fund are meant for like COMTUA are not aware of its availability.
He told the audience that the two associations can establish a software application or website where its members can interface and cut off middlemen that are sometimes problematic.
Dr Farinto argued that the container detention charges by shipping companies is becoming fraudulent and it will continue except this new effort known as ANLCA/COMTUA initiative is taken serious.
In his contribution, the ANLCA National Secretary Alhaji Abdulazeez gave some enlightenment as it concerns the provisions of CEMA. He said that enlightenment campaigns are necessary because Customs Licensed Agents are also truckers and it is assumed by law that licensed brokers use the trucks to load their cargo. He noted that any truck owner that complains over seizure of his truck laden with contraband goods does not understand what the law says in that regard, hence the overriding need for enlightenment.
The two associations appointed an 8 man joint action committee to be headed by Alhaji Abdulazeez to work on the way forward and their terms of reference includes establishing an app or website where members of the two associations can access and establishm a platform to ensure effective implementation of the initiative to assist the import and export value chain. The committee has two weeks to submit their report.
Members of the Committee includes
Austin Irabor will serve as the secretary.
Meanwhile high level consultation to assist the entire process continues.
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