POF: We will resolve CRFFN-ANLCA feud, Nwabunike pledges
From left: Managing Director, Mac-Tonnel Nigeria Limited and foremost presidential candidate in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, national election, Iju Tony Nwabunike and his vice presidential candidate, Dr. Kayode Farinto during a briefing on the sideline of the grand finale of their campaign programme held at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos at the weekend.
By FRANCIS EZEM
A Presidential hopeful of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, Iju Tony Nwabunike, has said that when elected, he would resolve the feud between the association and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria CRFFN, over the introduction of the Practitioners Operating Fees POF.
Nwabuinke, who was the pioneer chairman of the council, said that when elected, he would take urgent steps to resolve the debacle, assuring that he would seek legal advice from the legal department of the association as well as from independent sources with a view to urgently resolving the crisis.
He also pledged that the current rampant cases of imposition of arbitrary levies and charges by terminal operators and shipping companies would soon be a thing of the past, as the association will join forces with the Nigerian Shippers Council to check the menace.
The foremost presidential candidate, who spoke during an interview with newsmen alongside his Vice Presidential Candidate, Dr. Kayode Farinto on the sideline of the grand finale of his campaign programme at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja Friday, also promised that when elected president of the association; he will focus attention on the welfare of members, professionalism and enhancing operational efficiency.
According to him, the current situation whereby shipping companies, terminal operators and other service providers in the nation’s port industry wake up suddenly one morning and begin to impose charges and levies that have no service functions on port users would no longer acceptable and must stop forthwith.
He insisted that the new government, which is expected to emerge before the end of this week at the association’s election scheduled to hold in Enugu, Enugu State, would adopt all legal and civilised means of addressing this problem, which includes but not limited to liaising with the Council, Nigeria’s commercial regulator for the seaport industry.
He said: “In all fairness, the outgoing administration led by Prince Olayiwola Shittu has done its very best in refocusing the association, especially in terms of administration, having to acquire a modern secretariat and putting in place a governance machinery. But we will focus more in the area of operations, making sure that our members do their job with more ease, look at the access roads and other operational challenges.
“You will also agree with me that our jobs are being taken away by foreign customs brokerage agents, Customs officers and even members of the Nigerian Plant Quarantine Service today do clearing jobs at the ports. We will not sit and allow all these to continue and so we will device mechanisms to ensure that all these anomalies are corrected. Cargo clearing business must be done in Nigeria the same way it is done elsewhere including neighbouring African countries”.
He assured the agents that the new government would evolve a robust welfare package that would cater for the needs of the members of the association, assuring that he would also work towards bringing other sister associations together, insisting that the fractionalisation of the cargo clearing professionals was not good for the practitioners.
“As long as we fail to speak with one voice, the government will not take us serious and they will continue to take undue advantage of this disunity among us. So we will seek to bring all the associations together to speak with one voice on issues of common interest, we will maintain our identities and unique systems of doing things but we must unite to be taken serious”, he assured.
On the problem of funding, Nwabunike, who is the Managing Director of Mac-Tonnel Nigeria Limited, a marine and oil and gas services firm, assured that 18 months into the lifespan of the new, it would be self-sufficient in terms of funding, as it would no longer require remittances from the various chapters, which will not domicile and spend all their generated revenue independent of the national secretariat.