By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has entered an alliance with the Council of Maritime Transport Unions Association (COMTUA) to put an end to collection of Container Detention Charges by shipping companies in Nigeria.
The two bodies have equally set up an 8-man joint action committee, headed by Alhaji Mukaila, ANLCA National Secretary, to ensure effective implementation of the initiative to assist both clearing agents and truck drivers in import and export value chain.
In a statement sent to DAILY TREND by Barr Val Iwuchukwu, Special Assistant to the ANLCA National President, the committee was set up on Tuesday when COMTUA visited the ANLCA National Secretariat, Amuwo Odofin Lagos.
Speaking at the meeting, Acting President of ANLCA, Dr Kayode Farinto argued that the container detention charges by shipping company is becoming fraudulent and it will continue, except this new effort known as ANLCA/COMTUA initiative is taken seriously.
Dr Farinto thanked COMTUA for coming, adding that the visit is like “home-coming” and that the synergy between ANLCA and COMTUA is necessary for both groups collective interest.
He told his audience that ANLCA National Secretariat is ICT compliant and that the two associations have a lot to benefit when they collaborate and work together.
He noted that ANLCA is willing to work with any association that is ready to cooperate with her.
Barrister Iwuchukwu quoted Dr Farinto as saying that “There is a lot to learn because NIMASA, NSC, NCS and a whole lot of government parastatals and agency are talking advantage of the ignorance of players in the maritime industry to short change them.
“He gave example of the government sponsored financing available through cabotage law. He regretted that the fund are not being accessed because those the fund are meant for like COMTUA are not aware of its availability.
“He told his audience that two associations can establish an application or website where its members can interface and cut off middlemen that are sometimes problematic”
The National President of COMTUA, Adeyinka Taofek Aroyewun acknowledged ANLCA as the foremost maritime association in Nigeria and a group that has become indispensable in the system.
He explained that COMTUA is a Council that coordinate the activities of all 5 union in the maritime transport industry including the relatively popular AMATO.
He said that COMTUA have never had a significant meeting like this and will take advantage of the golden opportunity. He further explained that the problem confronting COMTUA is overwhelming and except they collaborate with a formidable association like ANLCA, the challenges will overwhelm them.
In his contribution, the ANLCA National Secretary Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde gave some enlightenment as it concerns the provisions of CEMA.
He said that enlightenment campaign is necessary because Customs Licensed Agents are truckers and it is assumed by law that licensed brokers used their trucks to load their cargo. That any truck owner that complains over seizure of his truck laden with contraband goods does not understand what the law said in that regard, hence the overriding need for enlightenment.
The highpoint of the meeting was the appointment of an 8-man joint action committee to be headed by Alhaji Mukaila to work on the way forward.
The committee’s terms of reference includes; establishing an app or website where members of the two associations can access, and establishment of a platform to ensure effective implementation of the initiative to assist the import and export value chain.
The committee has two weeks to submit their report.
Members of the Committee includes
Austin Irabor will served as the secretary.