Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike


National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, Iju Tony Nwabunike, has said his driving force for seeking to represent Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency under the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA at the House of Representatives is to bring the constituency to the national business grid.

Nwabunike, who was also pioneer Executive Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria CRFFN, disclosed while speaking at a manifesto dinner held in Lagos Wednesday that importers from the federal constituency constitutes over 65per cent of all the importers, traders and allied business people in the entire Anambra State but regretted that they have been made to face several setbacks.

According to him, many of the importers and manufacturers have been made to go bankrupt due to unfriendly business environment characterised frequent policy summersault, citing cases where the Federal Government would announce the prohibition of some items without giving the importers prior notice, which has led to the seizure and forfeiture of such imported goods, many of which were seaborne as at the policy was initiated.

He therefore promised that when elected come February 16, 2019, he would initiate inclusive process that would bring about synergy between the businessmen and the relevant government ministries, departments and agencies with a view to integrating them into the national business grid.

In a two-page manifesto entitled: “My pact with the people of Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency”, he said that it has become expedient to close the wide gap between the businessmen and women in the area, many of who have contributed to infrastructural developments in the past and the government with a view to integrating them into the national business scheme.

“I have been in the maritime industry for over 30 years and have witnessed firsthand the rise and fall of the people of my constituency and how government policies, programmes, guidelines and procedures have crippled and impoverished my people. Those self-help philanthropic initiatives and healthy competition by benevolent ones are no longer there. The good old days when one trader or manufacturer constructs one end of a road while another trader continues from there is now history.

“It is not because there are no longer public spirited individuals but because the means are no longer there. The effect of unfavourable and inconsistent government policies makes businessmen and women in my constituency to lose billions of naira of their investments every year. Indigenous manufacturers that import their raw materials, component units for production, among several others are not spared this agony, thus forcing them to shut down. The result is that my constituency, which used to swim in affluence, is now ravaged by poverty leading to rising unemployment, drug abuse and other forms of crime.  I have seen it all in this important industry, I will deploy the experience gathered over the years to enhance stable policy framework as it relates to imports and exports”, he pledged.

In addition to addressing this challenge, he also promised to take an inventory of all the constituency projects and ensure that they are completed before embarking on fresh ones as well as pursuing youth and widow empowerment programmes as a way of fighting unemployment and poverty.

As part of his key points, he also promised to sponsor and ensure passage of bills that promote free enterprise, ease of doing business and removing all bottlenecks associated with clearing imported goods at the nation’s air, seaports and land borders when elected.