By AYO OLAYIWOLA
The Public Relations Officer of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Port Chapter, Alhaji Idowu Owoade has said that sister associations including National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) National Association of Airfreight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC) and National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) have all failed to fill the vacuum created in the freight forwarding sector as a result of the five years old crisis rocking ANLCA.
Our correspondent reports that ANLCA is the biggest freight forwarding and clearing agents association in Nigeria. However, since leadership tussle that ensued in the association since 2018, young freight forwarders and agents have been left un-catered for, even as they continued to suffer bad government policies, and harsh treatment in the hands of customs, shipping companies and terminal operators.
In his new year message 2023, Alhaji Idowu Owoade called on the leadership of ANLCA at the top echelon to embrace peace for the sake of the profession, and to return ANLCA to its old ways as an association known for giving direction in freight forwarding and engaging government.
While reacting to the recent increment in customs duty payment on vehicles, the ANLCA spokesman lamented that it has been difficult to engage the Nigeria Customs Service because ANLCA no longer speak with one voice.
“Looking back, it has not been easy with the government policy on automobile, most especially in Tincan Port where most of the jobs we clear are vehicles. Everyday, we have continued to face and meet different policies that made us to pay more. This is abnormal.
“The major reasons for this is the association (ANLCA) that has fall in disarray, the effect of ANLCA crisis has done more harm than good, we can no longer speak with one voice, the authority of customs are taking advantage of this ANLCA crisis to torment and disregard our roles as customs Agent.
“Other sister associations find it difficult to fill-in the gap created as a result of ANLCA crisis” he lamented
Continuing, he said “We woke up yesterday to meet another increment which is not justified.
“What is the way forward? Is this how we will continue? Is the opening of ANLCA national secretariat solution to ANLCA problems or the begining of another problem? Which way forward?
“Our leaders are sleeping and they want to die sleeping, this is 2023, we the members and stakeholders in ANLCA are tired of all the efforts of our leaders, we want positive changes.
“Our industry is next to oil, today fuel is being sold between 170 per litre and 270 per litre in the West which has never happened before, but because of the efforts of the associations in the oil sector, they were able to speak with one voice to fight Government.
“We custom brokers and freight forwarders generate revenue and add value to the economy of the country, and the authority that licensed us does not even recognize us and we are the ones that caused it, due to the greediness of our leaders.
“If they have jobs to clear, they will go and use their personality to clear the jobs and make money at the detriments of all the stakeholders in the industry. Instead of them to embark on the move that will benefit the entire stakeholders in respective of the associations they belong to.
“The worst part of it is the CRFFN that came in in the middle of ANLCA crisis and promised heaven and heart to resolve ANLCA crisis.
“The committee did well by investigating the crisis and came up with a report, but since then, we did not hear anything again.
What a disgrace to the entire industry.
“The CRFFN is making money on all imported vehicles but failed to protect their members, this is January 2023, we will all pay another N30,000 as annual due to the purse of CRFFN and we are not gaining anything in return.
“The peace we are agitating for can be achieved by our so call leaders in ANLCA.
“Let the leaders on both factions embrace each other including our past presidents and past BOT leaders, enough is enough.
“They are leaders and elders that are highly placed, let them use the begining of the year to come together as one and resolve this 5-year old crisis.
“All the cases in the court should be looked into and they should withdraw them with immediate effect. Let the junior ones prostrate to the seniors by forgetting the past.
“We are all waiting for your positive action before the custom management send all of us out of business”