Strong indications emerged that scores members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, are currently pissed with the internal wrangling squabbles among members of Board of Trustees BOT, of the association which many believe are unnecessary, avoidable and therefore diversionary.

The BOT, which is an advisory body, had since the inauguration of the newly elected National Executive Committee NECOM on April 14, 2018 has been locked down a disagreement over the tenure of its current chairman, Chief Henry Njoku, who has been accused of trying to entrench himself in office.

This feeling by members is particularly given that the maritime industry is presently hemorrhaging on many sides over poor infrastructure, especially roads and also dogged with operational challenges, which have put most stakeholders including members of the association on edge, which ordinarily should attract the attention of any well-meaning industry leader not who is chairman of the BOT.

A member of the association, who spoke with BUSINESS AND TRANSPORT online on the condition of anonymity, expressed misgivings over the failure of the members of the BOT, who are also elders of the association to resolve their internal challenges amicably instead of resorting to mud- slinging.

The source noted that the board members have chosen to address their problems on pages of newspapers instead of putting their heads together to address all the issues through consensus rather than washing dirty linings in public.

“It is most disheartening that our BOT members, who are elders of the association, are seemingly chasing rats when their houses are on fire. As we talk, many licenses belonging to our members have been blocked for unexplained reasons, some passwords harked, and our members cannot do their legitimate jobs to earn a decent living.

“Given the myriads of the problems and challenges currently plaguing the industry, especially members of the association, all hands should at this point be on deck towards finding lasting solutions to these many problems and challenges particularly in the interest of our members. Look at what some Police officers and operatives of Federal Operations Unit FOU, of the Nigeria Customs Service are doing to our members, detaining their duly examined and released containers at the middle of the roads and some senior members seem not to be concerned”

“We expect our respected BOT members to sit on a round table with other relevant stakeholders with a view to resolving the leadership crisis in the board on the one part and several other challenges plaguing the industry on the other in the interest of our members”, the source advised.

It was however gathered that the current leadership of the association is working assiduously towards addressing many of the operational challenges faced by members and other stakeholders including the menace of Police officers and operatives of the FOU, who disrupt movement of duly examined and released consignments, a development that leads to incurring avoidable cost by members.

One of such efforts was a letter written by the leadership of the association to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on the huge threat posed by the state of the roads and worsening gridlock on the realisation of the objectives of the Presidential Order on the Ease of Doing Business at the ports, part of which informed the Vice President’s visit to Apapa last week.

Investigations further showed that some members of ANLCA, who operate private bonded terminals, have decided to surrender them for conversion to holding bays as part of their contributions to the efforts to evacuate the trucks from the port access roads, among several other lofty initiatives.