The National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike has said that neither a member nor a chieftain of the association defected to other associations, contrary to speculations in some quarters.

A statement by the Senior Special Adviser SSA to the National President on Media, Val Iwuchukwu Esq. President said that there is no iota of truth in some speculations that one Omotosho Francis, described as a top member of the association, having been Director of Planning and Research has dumped the association.

According to the statement, for the avoidance of doubt, there is presently no office or position is designated as ‘Director of Planning and Research at the National Secretariat of ANLCA.

The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to some misinformation in some quarters that a chieftain of ANLCA has defected to another association on account of the little misunderstanding among some members of the association. Our instinct initially was to ignore it given that those behind the misinformation are inconsequential but we chose to put the records straight for posterity

“Going down the memory lane, the immediate past President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu in his wisdom once employed the said Mr. Francis Omotosho privately as a technical support staffer during his tenure. The present administration does not find the office necessary as the gentleman has no value to add to the previous administration.

“A check into ANLCA’s record shows clearly that the said Omotosho Francis Idowu was never licensed as a Customs agent, nor was he at any time the Managing Director/CEO nor a General Manager of a licensed company, which are part of the conditions for being a member of the association”.

It was further gathered that the said Omotosho was never authorised by any license holder to represent the company by operating as a licensed customs agent, as he merely attached himself with different licensed companies at various times.

“One wonders, if not for mischief, why someone whose company is not licensed and as such cannot be a member of ANLCA in the strictest sense can be described as a top chieftain of the association.

“Our records also showed that at one time, the former Treasurer of ANLCA Alhaji Bojuri Akinsola Hamzat employed him as a personal staff. Last October, he smartly leveraged on that and collected form to contest election with the intention to represent ANLCA on the Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria CRFFN, but he failed to get the approval/clearance of ANLCA leadership because he is not qualified. Since October last year shortly after failing to realise his ambition through the back door, Mr. Omotosho took it personal and engaged in mudslinging of the person of the National President and the National Executive Committee NECOM of the association”.

The President also said that the most unfortunate aspect of the speculation was that those behind it never cared to get across to the leadership of ANLCA to authenticate the information. He cited another instance when these marauders tried to mislead the public into believing that the multi-million- naira ANLCA Secretariat at Seme Border has been left to rot away and soon after also speculated that the Dikko Inde House, the ANLCA National Secretariat was up for sale.

While enjoining the maritime stakeholders in particular and the global shipping public in general to always be wary of such misinformation from the pit of hell, he urged them to always crosscheck with the leadership of the association for authentic information.

The National President also assured that he will remain undistracted and focused and will therefore not join issues with those that want to distract him, insisting that the NECOM is poised to deliver quality leadership ANLCA members deserve and will continue to work hard to achieve success no matter how long or rough the roads might look today.