Mr. Amiwero in burgundy coloured attire trying to cut the cake.
Story by Dili Utomi.
It was a day of reviews, analysis and general stock taking as the Maritime guru, Mr. Lucky Ehis Amiwero turned sixty eight years of age. The celebration of the man that some people refer to as an encyclopedia on maritime matters took place within the premises of his office located in Festac town.
The event started with the usual prayer which then culminated into the an address of the teeming audience of colleagues and journalists who took advantage of the occasion to ask the celebrant some questions bothering on the state of the maritime industry vis-a-vis the nation’s economy in general.
Cake cutting time.
Mr. Amiwero who has served in 168 government committees, 9 presidential committees and 1 committee to reform the Nigeria Customs Service said that he has been invited by the Directorate of State Security and has been detained for speaking out against bad government policies also added that he is not actually celebrating a birthday, but rather that he is using the day for the review of activities within the sector. He recalled that he was also part of the committee that reviewed the Customs and Excise Management Acts (CEMA) and was in 2008 given a friend of the Customs award.
Mr. Amiwero who is also the president of the National Council for Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) said that he has taken the government to court on a number of issues recalled that he was arrested and detained because of his stand on the legality or otherwise of the benchmarking during the time of Customs Area Controller, late Inde Dikko, he pointed out that he won the case and that people should use their positions to help the society to the glory of God and not for pecuniary purposes. He noted that as licensed customs agents, they are economic agents in the whole gamut of the value chain and therefore should be properly respected and acknowledged.
Members of the audience listening attentively.
He said that the occasion is one for sober reflection on our lives as he admonished everyone present including the press to do what is right to put our nation on a sound footing so that she can become the country of our desires and dreams.
The occasion which was moderated by the national public relations officer of the NCMDLCA, Raph Agbogu saw a lot of encomiums poured on the veteran Licensed Customs Agent as speaker after speaker commended the dogged fighter. When asked about what he thinks about the multiplicity of Customs units along the various roads to check consignments after they have been examined, properly documented and released, he said that the destination inspection as regards how the Nigeria Customs Service is carrying out its duty is no more relevant and that it is archaic. He suggested that we borrow the American example of signing MOUs with other countries where your Customs personnel are present at the place of origin to examine the consignments before they leave for your country. He noted that the available law talks about pre-shipment inspection and not destination inspection and so the NCS should change its modus operandi. He admonished the government for following the wrong policy of revenue generation rather than security, he advised that revenue should be a disincentive and that the conducive business environment be given the proper attention so that the business community will build the economy. He said that government should always be honest and sincere in formulating and executing policies as more capital flights are happening with investors shying away fron Nigeria because of policy inconsistencies and summersaults. He asked the rhetorical question about the newly bought scanners for the customs wondering if they will not allow them to go the way of the ones bought in the past.
He advised stakeholders to be selfless in fighting for having the right laws, the right infrastructures, for the right equipment in place and the right environment to do their businesses and contribute to the economy, welfare of the citizens and the nation at large.
The highlight of the occasion was the cutting of the birthday cake with all present jostling to get into group photographs with the respected maritime advocate.
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