By DAPO OLAWUNI
National President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Hon Tony Iju has raised an alarm that Nigerian clearing agents and freight forwarders do not have access to clear project cargoes from Nigerian ports.
The Nigerian Shippers Council recently announced that it is working on how Nigerian freight forwarders and truck owners can be consolidated to form strong entities in order to compete internationally.
Project cargoes are big, bulky, heavy and high-value equipment and parts intended for a given project, mostly by the federal government and multinational companies
Nwabunike who was addressing journalists in Lagos recently, lamented that clearing agents are busy chasing peanuts while foreigners have now taken over the juicy multi million naira project jobs.
Tony Iju said there was need for Nigerian freight forwarders and clearing agents to come off their high horses, consolidate themselves and form a big logistics company, so as to be able to access clearing of multi million naira jobs, such as project cargoes.
Speaking, he said “Hassan Bello (Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council) has said we need to do a consolidation of customs brokers and freight forwarders, I think he made a good point on that”
“Let me say that many of us cannot even access project jobs, even though project jobs are coming into the country, who are those handling it, foreigners”
“Nigerian Customs Agents and freight forwarders are not handling project jobs because everyone wants to be an island of his own, nobody wants to come down and put synergy together and have a very constructive freight company that will challenge international standards”
“We need to change, and come put from the shackles of our little empire and realise that it is a global village and we have to play the game there” he said
Tony Iju also said that his greatest challenge since becoming the president of ANLCA is that his members are resisting change.
According to him, many ANLCA members are still leaving in the past, despite the fact that his administration is coming up with policies to transform the association, some members are constantly fighting the change.
“My highest challenge as ANLCA President is denial of change. People are resisting change”
“The only thing constant in this life is change, we need to change our attitude towards work and how we do things, people think it should be the same old way of doing things”
“They will tell you that the former president did it this way, so why can’t we follow the same way, meanwhile, I am coming with different policies, I am coming with training and policies of decent freight forwarding” he said