Femi Anifowoshe, the coordinator of the Western Zone executive of ANLCA.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The inaugural meeting of the Western Zone executive members with the chapter chairmen of the zone of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) took place on Tuesday at the Dikko Inde House secretariat of the association with the Coordinator of the zone, Mr. Femi Anifowoshe setting the agenda for the day. The national secretary of the association played the role of a chief observer as the meeting promptly kicked off. The coordinator said that the main thrust of the meeting was an attempt towards reconciling the various factions in each chapter with the Tin Can Island chapter obviously being the one with the most serious issue and needing the most attention. He said that the factionalisation of the chapters has resulted in the men of the Nigeria Customs Service exploiting the rifts to their advantage.
A cross section of some chapter executive members with coordinator and national secretary.
The various chapter chairmen from the Apapa, Tin Can Island, PTML, KLT and Seme spoke up about the difficult and embarrassing situations that they have been encountering while tackling issues that are of interest to members of the association. They also expressed their pleasure with the inauguration of the Western Zone executive and hoped that with this, issues can be expediently resolved as the zonal coordinator and his executive team is seen as an easy and accessible force that will always be available for the use of the various chapters.
Members watching on at the meeting.
The PTML chapter chairman, Otunba Sunday Oyebola emphasised that the illegal tenure of the so called factional chairmen has actually elapsed since the 28th of January and that immediate attempt should be made to recover all the association’s properties presently in the hands of the ‘impostors’ as he also expressed pleasure that the national executive committee has now shown to be taking the bull by the horn.
The national secretary of the association, Mr. Babatunde Mukaila Abdulaziz went down memory lane to detail the cause of the wranglings in the Association, the various peaceful attempts that the President, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike has made to resolve the issues, the recent encounter where Mr. Taye Oyeniyi was said to have made some demands in a letter as an attempt to have a peaceful settlement, the demands were generally termed ‘ludicrous’, as the the secretary also detailed the NECOM’s answer to their demands.
The coordinator making a point at the meeting.
The chairmen jointly demanded that letters should be written to intimate the various stakeholders about the realities of the situation so that the chapter chairmen will have the moral latitude to recover all the properties at the possession of the factional chairmen.
The coordinator, Mr. Anifowoshe said that letters will be written to the zonal head of the Nigeria Customs Service to intimate her of their intention to recover all the Association’s properties and with the cooperation of the Compliance Committee and all chapter executive members and other members, they will match on to take possession of the Association’s properties, the coordinator outlined that he needs three weeks to try and employ dialogue and peaceful means of resolving the imbroglio before employing other means.
The national chairman of the Compliance Committee, Mr. Lameen Aliyu said that they are very much available to help the western zone and chapter chairmen in their quest to fully recover the Association’s properties, he appealed to members to cooperate with the team in their mandate to bring about sanity in the operation of the Customs Brokerage and freight forwarding functions so that the toga of touts and criminals labelled on members will be permanently removed as they do their jobs professionally. In a separate press release on the matter of cooperation on issues of Compliance by the President of the association, Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike said that “The current leadership of ANLCA believes strongly in the unity of purpose in moving the Customs Brokerage / freight forwarding sub-sector forward for the greater good of all members. As such, ANLCA
is working tirelessly to promote synergy among all Customs Brokers & freight forwarders in the industry”.
“For us as Customs Brokers / freight forwarders to achieve tangible growth in the sector we invest so much in, we must speak with one voice”.
He continued “This is the time to work as one big family to achieve our common goal of repositioning the sector in line with ease of doing business formulated by the Federal Government of Nigeria”.
Hon. Nwabunike said that “ANLCA’s Compliance team will work hand-in-hand with NAGAFF or any other Association’s Compliance committee to check bottle-necks and excesses of agencies impeding trade in the industry”.
Back to the meeting of the day, the chapter chairman of the Seme Customs Command, Mr. Sule Onyekachi said that he and his men are ready to take over their office and other properties at Seme by Wednesday and so need the cooperation of the president, the compliance committee, the police and all the zonal chapter executive members for the action.
The coordinator noted and extolled the peaceful nature of the President of the association and said that he is also opened to the resolution of the crises through peaceful means, but that he will be guided by the general agreement of members on the ways of tackling the issues.
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