Reprieve came the way of over 100 members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, whose operational licenses were blocked more than three years ago, as the Nigeria Customs Service has decided to unblock the affected licensed, thus paving the way for them to resume business again.

Recall that the affected licensed were illegally hacked by some fraudsters and used for vehicle declaration without the consent of the owners, which made the service to block them from accessing its central clearing server, which implies that the license cannot be used to process cargo clearance.

The decision of the Customs management to unblock the licenses follows constant pressure mounted on the service by the current leadership of the association, led by Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike, which came to power in May last year, having inherited the challenge from the past administration.

It was also gathered that the service had following the request of the leadership of the association, embarked on an extensive investigation of the matter and discovered that they were really hacked by some unscrupulous elements and used for illegal business transactions.

In a letter dated August 22, 2019 addressed to the National Secretary of the association and signed on behalf of the Comptroller General of the service, Hameed Ali by the acting Comptroller in charge of investigation, S.M Tanko, said that the management has approved the request of the leadership of the association to unblock the licenses of some members of the association.

 The letter entitled: ‘Re-An appeal for the unblocking of our members’ licenses, victims of illegal hacking for vehicle declaration without licenses owners’ consent reads in part: Your appeal letter to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service seeking the unblocking of some of your members licenses has been investigated. The Comptroller General has graciously approved and directed that the affected licenses be unblocked as requested.

“You are to inform your members to proceed and carry on with their normal legal transactions with their licenses.

“Accept the warm regards of the Comptroller General of Customs please”

National President of ANLCA, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike.

National President of the association, Iju Nwabunike, who reacted to the unblocking of the licenses, expressed satisfaction over the development, nothing that though the current leadership inherited the problem, it did leave any stone unturned in ensuring that the affected licenses were promptly released.

He argued that ensuring members welfare and wellbeing remains a cardinal policy of the current administration under his watch, adding that protecting the interest of members is non-negotiable.

He however enjoined members to also be honest and diligent in all their transactions, insisting that the leadership of the association was convinced that the affected licenses were truly hacked, which also informed its decision to ensure that they were unblocked, warning that the association will not protect the interest of any member who is on the other side of the law.

The president also expressed deep appreciation to the Comptroller General and the entire management of the service for obliging the association’s request to unblock the affected licenses and pledged commitment towards cooperating with Customs in ensuring speedy release of cargo and trade facilitation.