A notable clearing agent, and presidential candidate for the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Iju Tony Nwabunike, has assured that the rampant cases of imposition of arbitrary levies and charges by terminal operators and shipping companies would soon be a thing of the past, as the association plans join forces with the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) to check the menace.
Nwabunike, who spoke during an interview with his Vice Presidential Candidate, Dr. Kayode Farinto, in Lagos, also promised to focus attention on the welfare of members, professionalism and enhancing operational efficiency.
According to him, the current situation whereby shipping companies, terminal operators and other service providers in the nation’s port industry wake up suddenly one morning and begin to impose charges and levies that have no service functions on port users would no longer acceptable and must stop forthwith.
He insisted that the new government, which is expected to emerge before the end of this week, would adopt all legal and civilised means of addressing this problem, which includes but not limited to liaising with the NSC.
Nwabunike, who is also the Managing Director of Mac-Tonnel Nigeria Limited, said: “In all fairness, the outgoing administration led by Prince Olayiwola Shittu, has done its very best in refocusing the association, especially in terms of administration. They have acquired a modern secretariat and putting in place a governance machinery. But we will focus more on the area of operations, making sure that our members do their job with more ease, look at the access roads and other operational challenges.
“You will also agree with me that our jobs are being taken away by foreign customs brokerage agents, Customs officers and even members of the Nigerian Plant Quarantine Service today do clearing jobs at the ports. We will not sit and allow all these to continue and so we will device mechanisms to ensure that all these anomalies are corrected. Cargo clearing business must be done in Nigeria the same way it is done elsewhere including neighbouring African countries”.
He assured the agents that the new government would evolve a robust welfare package that would cater for the needs of the members of the association, assuring that he would also work towards bringing other sister associations together, insisting that the fractionalisation of the cargo clearing professionals was not good for the practitioners.