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Nwabunike extends olive branch to aggrieved, eyes special loan for members, other operators

President of ANLCA, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike discussing with the Senate President Alh Lawan, while Imo state Gov Hope Uzodinma was listening and having fun with other Distinguished Senators at the Senator Orji Uzor Kalu's 10th year remembrance of his late father at his Country home at Igbere Abia State...recently

Paul Ogbuokiri

As humanity steps into the New Year Friday, president of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike has called on all aggrived members of the association to return into the warm embrace of the body, saying the leadership of the association has forgiven the misdeeds of anyone that tried to truncate the development agenda of ANLCA and the profession.

This was the highlight of a New Year message by Hon. Nwabunike to his members and the freight forwarding community on Friday morning.

He hinted on the moves by the leadership of the association to get the Federal Government to put in place a special loan package to help logistics firms expand and maintain fleet of heavy duty and lighter vehicles required beyond the coverage of train.

He further charged members and all freight forwarding professionals to embrace the new digital world for their professional advantage, saying the need has become more compelling with the second wave of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which restricts human contact.

The New Year message reads in part: “I want to specially greet you for being part of our country’s social and economic success in 2020 as we all step into the new year 2021.

“Our individual and collective resilience in keeping our ports working and making the total logistics chain functional during the periods of lockdown and movement restrictions, underscores the importance of our relevance as essential service providers.

“Being at work and staying compliant with the Covid-19 protocols throughout the periods when many others stayed at home are functions of individual self discipline, corporate coordination and selflessness.

“This selfless attributes was a factor driven and held beyond personal gain by you but aimed at ensuring needed cargoes, including medical supplies exited our ports to their destined locations across the country.

“Even when the Federal Government provided free buses  for us to access and exit ports, which in most cases weren’t enough, many of you were at work on your own at extra costs to you. You are appreciated.

“As we enter the new year, 2021 we must not lose our guards – a second wave of #Covid-19 is here. It has become imperative that we continue to take responsibility and act in line with clearly spelt out guidelines.

“As you are aware, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2021 Appropriation Law of over N13.5 trillion with a charge to revenue generating agencies to scale up their efforts for collection into government coffers.

“We, as professionals,  interface with no fewer than nine revenue collecting and regulatory agencies of government in the course of our professional services and will therefore be part of Nigeria’s success stories economically, as we have always been, albeit unsung.”

Hon. Nwabunike noted that the impact of the activities of Customs Brokers on the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and many others reinforce their strategic role in the Federal Government’s economic diversification agenda and increasing it’s non oil revenue base.

To this end, he assured that the ANLCA under his watch “and by your  popular mandate, will continue to engage government strategically at various levels to achieve better deals for all our colleagues.”

He said: “We look forward to having stronger interface with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) on the need for a special loan scheme to help logistics firms in expanding and maintaining fleet of heavy duty and lighter vehicles required beyond coverage of train services.”

The ANLCA boss recalled the murderous attempts by criminal elements  at human lives who dedtroyed part of valuable property at the National Secretariat of ANLCA last year, saying “For this, we are moving forward without grudge and on behalf of all members of the National Executive Committee (NECOM), we have forgiven the misdeeds of anyone attempting to disrupt our development agenda for ANLCA and our profession.

“ANLCA is strong and indivisible. It is in reality, the mother of every group that identifies itself as a customs licence or freight forwarding body in Nigeria.

“As mother hen of the sector, our wings are wide enough to cover and cater for all. I hereby call on all aggrieved persons in our organisation to come into our warm embrace as we enter a new year. Let’s work together as one.

“No person or group is perfect. Whoever feels offended or aggrieved by our style of administration should also forgive us any perceived shortcoming on our part. We can explore continually, the channels of dialogue and tolerance as we grow older and stronger,” Nwabunike said.

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