ANLCA breaks silence, says ex-President Shittu left only N140, 000
More than two years after, the current executive council of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA has cried out saying only N140, 068 was left in the various bank accounts by the former executives led by Prince Olayiwola Shittu with months of outstanding workers’ salaries.
But in a swift reaction, the former President said that nine months to the end of his eight-year tenure, all the chapters of the association across all the zones stopped pay dues, which constituted a larger chunk of the association’s revenue source, insisting that he used his personal money to run the association.
Recall that the current executive council, which has Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike as National President, Dr. Kayode Farinto and Mukaila Abdulazeez as Vice President and National Secretary, respectively was inaugurated on April 13, 2018. This followed the conclusion of a keenly contested election held in Enugu, in which Nwabunike defeated the then incumbent Vice President, Emenike Nwokeoji to emerge the new National President.
Sources close to the association disclosed that the new leadership faced very huge financial challenges in the first few months of assumption of duty, as it could not meet its financial obligations to its various publics, a development that was further compounded by the backlog of unpaid secretariat and other workers’ salaries.
The sources also hinted that the dilapidated state of the national secretariat, which needed to be to renovated left members of the national executive council with only one option of resorting to individual financial donations to pave the way for the new government to take off and hit the ground running.
National Secretary of the association, Abdulazeez, who confirmed this development, disclosed, that a total of N140, 068 was found in the association’s three bank accounts.
Details of the accounts showed that a total of N31, 710 was left in the association’s Access Bank account, N118,358 was found in the Zenith bank account, which was dormant as at that time, bringing to a total of N140, 068 while $70.30 cents was left in its domiciliary account.
It was further gathered that the current leadership is yet to be given the details of the association’s project account, as the immediate past administration only submitted a one-page handover note, which is so scanty and could therefore not give any meaningful clue as to the true state of the association at the time the new government took over.
However, the former President, who spoke during a telephone interview, insisted that most of the chapters of the association refused to remit dues collected from members for reasons he could not disclose, adding that the then treasurer and Financial Secretary are part of the current executive council and should be verified.
He also noted that shortly before the handover, a transition committee headed by the Chairman of the Association Electoral Committee ASECO, which midwifed the handover process, insisting that for the eight years he held sway, the association was run with stipends from chapter chairmen and his personal money.
“Some people are talking as if they gave me money to run the association. I have no problem with Tony, the President. I have met with him over six times after handing over to him and he gave me lunch on one of the days we met and that is to say I have no problem with him.
“The annual dues collected during the electioneering period went to the ASECO chairman and chairman. I did not collect any money from anywhere and refused to remit it. They have taken me to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC and after they checked, nothing was found on me. I do not want to say anything yet”, he also said.
Recall that the association under the current leadership has since inception been going through many crises, which have destabilised the leadership, which are alleged to have been instigated by the former President.
First was the crisis that rocked the Board of Trustees BOT, over the chairmanship of the board, which began immediately after the election, in fact before the handover, as some BOT members insisted that that the BOT chairman must relinquish his position since he is from the same ethnic region with the current President.
This was followed by the revolt of all the chapter chairmen in west, except one, as they decided to withhold dues collected from members and denounced the current presidency of the association, which led to their sack at an Extraordinary General Meeting EGM of the NEC, held in Abuja, was later lifted to pave way for reconciliation and ultimately peace, which have ever since remained elusive.