…Alhaji Lamin Open Can of Worms, Alleged NECOM Sabotage
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Seven months after the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) entered into a marriage of convenience and synergy, especially on activities of their compliance teams, there are indications that the pact has collapsed.
This is even as Chairman of the ANLCA Compliant Team, Alhaji Lamin Aliyu has opened a “Can of Worms” on the National Executive Committee (NECOM) of the association, alleging that their actions is frustrating performance of his Committee.
Recall that ANLCA President, Tony Iju Nwabunike had late in 2020, paid a visit to the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam at the association Headquarters of in Lagos. The leadership of the two associations agreed to work together in tackling their common challenges.
While speaking on the current state of synergy with the NAGAFF 100 % Compliant Committee, the ANLCA Compliant Team Chairman, Alhaji Lamin Aliyu said he could no longer work with the NAGAFF team headed by Tanko Ibrahim.
According to him, “The synergy with NAGAFF is just by name, this is because Tanko Ibrahim is not a seasoned agent, he is a freight forwarder, I am not a freight forwarder, I am a custom broker, it is the customs that gave me license to operate.
“However, the freight forwarding is all comers affairs, the moment you have transport, or warehouse you can join freight forwarding”
When asked why his Committee has not been visible since it’s inception and inauguration, Alhaji Lamin lamented that he was not given free hand to operate by the NECOM of ANLCA.
“By virtue of my position as the National Chairman of Compliant Team, I should be able to make huge input as per who would work with me in the team or not. But in that case, i was not around, they held a meeting and planted some people on me who are coming to draw me back by virtue of their useless excuses.
“If I can follow Obama (Late Chairman of PTML Chapter) as a Vice Chairman and I was loyal to him, then I should know what leadership is all about.
The complaints against me has always been that I do not carry people along, and I ask, is it not the people that you see that you can carry along?
“Most people in the West here that are members of the Compliant Team, when did you see Orlando from Airport at any ANLCA programs? When did you see Major Patrick? I don’t even think you know him, the only person that was active was Lere” he said
Alhaji Lamin however assured that the ANLCA Compliant Team is still standing and working to benefit members but that it’s actions are being sabotaged.
According to him, the challenges of the clearing agents at the ports are so enormous, and for which all well-meaning ANLCA members must come together and resolve.
“For example, this issue of benchmarking of cargoes, the issue of VIN Valuation, these are serious issues that needs to be challenged. If we can put our house in order, we have the capability to challenge these policies, our speaking in one voice is between the two factions in ANLCA, not NAGAFF and others.
Speaking further on the non performance of the ANLCA Compliance Team, Alhaji Lamin said “It is when you have a sound mind that you would be able to perform, when people are witch-hunting you and trying to bring you down, how can you concentrate? Everything I am doing is with my money, ANLCA did not give me one Kobo or empower me in any way, they just named me Chairman and that was all.
“I have written letters of complaints to the NECOM, at our NEC meeting the last time, I sent another one, I highlighted the challenges of my committee, but nobody does anything about it, including all the reminders I wrote.
“However, when they saw the letter that I wrote to them that I was going to visit the CGC of customs, immediately, they replied. The NECOM told me that I should not go
“We are working with NDLEA and NPA and they are doing well, I have made many proposals, I said, let us organize an award of excellence and give to these people, but they turned it down because it didn’t come from them. I have a lot of ideas as far as protecting the interest of our members is concerned.
“They think that going around to collect N100,000 or N1million is all about leadership, I don’t believe in all that and I don’t do it” he said
Speaking on some of his good plans and thoughts for ANLCA members, Alhaji Lamin said that a licensed customs agent should not be made to suffer for the sins of the importer, especially on the influx of drugs through the port.
“I am in line with the Acting President on indemnity for license customs agents, but we should start it by bringing documents that agents and importers would be signing, you cannot just say indemnity with mouth and seat back.
“It is in my program that all agents must come under one umbrella and service transfer or subletting of licenses should be stopped, there should be no signing of documents for anybody. If you want to sign documents, go and align yourself with a company and be working under them, if you have a job, let them sign for you.
“Subletting of licenses is the main reason why miscreants are littering our ports” Lamin concluded