Less than five days to the presidential and National Assembly elections slated for Saturday, February 16, 2019, House of Representatives contender, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike has renewed his pact with his immediate constituency in Anambra State and the maritime industry, which is his professional and business base.

Nwabunike is the current National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA. He is seeking election into the House of Representatives under the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA to represent Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency of Anambra State.

He has also thrown his full weight behind the proposed reduction of import duty and fees on imported vehicles from 70-45 per cent under the National Automotive Policy of the Federal Government, insisting that this would reduce revenue loss associated with smuggling of such vehicles through the land borders.

While addressing newsmen at the weekend shortly after a town hall meeting with traditional rulers, elders, leaders of thought and women leaders in the constituency, assured he would strictly abide by all the campaign promises he has made to the constituency and the maritime industry, his professional base.

According to him,: “My election into the House of Representatives come February 16, 2019 will be victory for all both for my immediate constituency Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in Anambra State and the maritime industry, where I will come back to after politics”  

Nwabunike, who was also pioneer Executive Chairman of the Governing Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria CRFFN, insisted that protecting the interest of importers and exporters and other businessmen, which he said constitutes over 65per cent of all the importers, traders and allied business people in the entire state would remain paramount and sacrosanct.

“Many of the importers, exporters, traders and manufacturers have been made to go bankrupt due to unfriendly business environment occasioned government’s policy flip flops. There have been repeated cases where the Federal Government would announce the prohibition of some items without prior notice to the stakeholders, which has led to the seizure and forfeiture of such imported goods, and more often than not, such consignments would have been seaborne before such policies were even contemplated.

“Therefore when elected come February 16, 2019, I would initiate an inclusive legislative process that would bring about synergy between the businessmen and the relevant government ministries, departments and agencies with a view to integrating them into the national business grid to forestall such losses”, he said emphatically.

Nwabunike insisted that whatever affects these importers, exporters, manufacturers and traders equally affect the freight forwarding community and other operators within the international trade supply chain where he also belongs, assuring that he would adopt a pragmatic legislative approach towards addressing such issues once and for all.

Recall that Iju had last month presented a two-page manifesto to members of his constituency and maritime stakeholders in Lagos entitled: “My pact with the people of Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency”, where he said that it has become expedient to close the wide gap between the businessmen and women in the area many of who have contributed to infrastructural developments in the past and the government and its relevant agencies, with a view to integrating them into the national business scheme.

He had said: “I have been in the maritime industry for over 30 years and have witnessed firsthand the rise and fall of the people of my constituency and how government policies, programmes, guidelines and procedures have crippled and impoverished my people. Those self-help philanthropic initiatives and healthy competition by benevolent ones are no longer there. The good old days when one trader or manufacturer will construct one end of a road for another trader to continue from there is gone.

“It is not because there are no longer public spirited individuals but because the means are no longer there. The effect of unfavourable and inconsistent government policies makes businessmen and women in my constituency lose billions of naira of their investments every year. Indigenous manufacturers that import their raw materials and component units for production, among several others are not spared this agony, thus forcing them to shut down. The result is that my constituency, which used to swim in affluence, is now ravaged by poverty leading to rising unemployment, drug abuse and other forms of crime.  I have seen it all in this important industry, I will deploy the experience gathered over the years to enhance stable policy framework as it relates to imports and exports”.