Apparently aware of the fierce contending interests in the umbrella body of licensed customs agents in the country, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), its National President, Mr. Anthony Iju Nwabunike has declared that his greatest achievement since his election on March 8, 2018 was his ability to rally round all members together in spite of their differences.
Nwabunike whose tenure has been plagued by infighting by those who supported his ambition and those opposed to him resulting in several court cases told newsmen in Lagos that his efforts have started yielding tangible results as members who hitherto see themselves as sworn enemies have sheathed the sword for the sake of the association.
Speaking at a press conference which took place recently at Inde Dikko House, the corporate national secretariat of ANLCA in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, the National President maintained that he has brought back the association on the part of peace and togetherness in its quest to fight for the common good of its members.
He reiterated his determination at ensuring that peace reigns in ANLCA and it remains an indivisible and unified association in the actualisation of the goals and objectives for which the association was established since 1954.
Already, a peace resolution committee constituted last year to chart a way out of ANLCA crisis has gotten an extension of time to ensure that it achieved the purpose for which it was established.
The report of the committee is presently being awaited for further deliberation by Nwabunike led NECOM. There is an unanimity that the way and manner and Nwabunike go about in the implementation of the committee report will go a long way to determine the fate of the oldest licensed customs agents association in the country in the months ahead.
The National President who is also the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mac-Tonnel Nigeria Limited maintained that the peace move he made in December 2019 was the best way forward for the association.
He enjoined all those who are still aggrieved over happenings in the association to sheath the sword for the sake of the association, pointing out that they should pay more attention to what binds ANLCA together rather than what divides it.
His words: “It is true that last year, I spent some time to face my career in national politics. This year I want to concentrate on building the ANLCA that gave me a mandate. As far as I am concerned, the association is one indivisible body. You can see Mr. Joe Sanni, the National Publicity Secretary is working. You can see Dada Agubuzo the National Treasurer is working. You can see Mr. John Ofobike, the Western Zone Chairman working. They are all in their offices. You can go and verify if you are in doubt”.
According to him, we have a whole lot of problems as it were. What we want to do is put our heads together and have a formidable freight forwarders and customs brokers association in order to tackle our problems. Our members are not actually happy with us. They are feeling that they have given us a mandate and we are not utilizing it. So I want to shun all these local politics to face the challenges of my members. I do not want to weigh myself down with all these little talks here and there. As far as I am concern, they are unnecessary distractions.
He revealed that apart from the visit to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha and the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, ANLCA would also lead a delegation to the Minister of Finance, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), NAFDAC, Comptroller General of Customs and the National Assembly.
Continuing, Nwabunike maintained that as the National President, his duty is to carry everybody along and work in tandem with NECOM just as he noted that if anybody is not happy about it, I am sorry.
According to him, they should try and be happy. We need to come together to have a formidable association. We are going beyond ANLCA to even meet with other freight forwarding associations. If my Vice President is not happy, I would plead with him to be happy. I am taking this as a serious concern to tell him to be happy and let us move forward and if there is any reason that he is not happy, I would correct it. As far as I am concerned, I was inaugurated on 14th of April 2018 and from that day, I became the president of everybody, whether you supported my quest to be the National President or not.