President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike has sent out greetings to the Muslim faithful in Nigeria and the Nigerian maritime industry on the occassion of Eid-El-Fitri celebration.
Nwabunike in his message on Wednesday said: “As we join our Muslim brothers and sisters, especially those in the maritime industry to celebrate Eid- El -Fitri , which marks the end of thirty days Ramadan fasting, I want to sincerely join you in prayers that may Allah accept your acts of worship and piety.
“I specially salute your selflessness, self denial and commitment in praying for our great country at this trying period of economic and security challenges, which I know, together we shall overcome.”
He said this year’s fasting and Eid- El -Fitri celebration are instructive , coming at a time the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had declared that it would deduct N112 billion from oil and gas proceeds for April to ensure continuous supply of petroleum products to the country and guarantee energy security.
A development which according to NNPC means that it would not contribute its share the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) for sharing to the three tiers of government.
Nwabunike also said aside the economy, activities in the Nigerian maritime industry calls for increased security attention which according to him, the Federal Government (through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is rising to the occasion with planned deployment of deep blue assets later this month.
“It is anticipated that this move will go a long way in fighting piracy and other maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea and our country’s territorial waters.
“Safety of vessels, cargoes and crews on our waters have direct impact on our overall economy since the maritime sector is critical for us in the areas of trade, investment, employment and recreation,” he said.
He said further development of Nigeria’s maritime potentials will be a bold step towards economic diversification for job creation, addressing insecurity and positioning the nation’s ports for hub status in the West and Central African regions
He stated that while the government is consciously trying to address the Apapa gridlock, “I mplore that an emergency be declared to expedite the ongoing road construction works. This could come in form of 24 hours work by construction workers especially when the rains subside.
“I also implore that the Port Harcourt to Eleme axis of the East West road and the adjoining portion leading to Onne Port, where you have a beehive of maritime activities, be attended to in good time for the collective benefits of government and port users,” said Nwabunike.