As Shipping World magazine rolls out 2020 Achievers Awards
By Kenneth Jukpor
The National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike has been decorated as the Freight Forwarder of the Decade at the 2020 edition of the Shipping World Magazine Achievers Awards.
According to the organisers of the programme, Nwabunike’s emergence for the award followed an overwhelming stakeholders’ votes against other nominees, which is in recognition of his pedigree in the business of freight forwarding with over 27 years experience.
Nwabunike, who was also the pioneer Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), is reputed to have improved on the operational standards of the Automated Systems for Customs Data ASYCUDA, now the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS II), using his wealth of operational experience.
As a successful businessman and Managing Director/CEO, Mac-Tonnel Nigeria Limited, a Customs Brokerage firm, he has investments in several sectors of the nation’s economy covering Maritime and shipping, hospitality and tourism, oil and gas as well as logistics and transport.
Speaking with journalists on the significance of the award to him, he noted that being crowned the most outstanding freight forwarder in the last 10 years was a huge honour to him, noting that there are several veterans in the practice of freight forwarding in the country.
He, however, assured that the award would also spur him to continue to seek for ways to improve the lot of the freight forwarding practitioners, admitting that the industry is currently bedeviled by lots of challenges and operational difficulties which must be addressed to enhance competitiveness.
His words: “First of all, I want to appreciate you all my friends in the media for finding time out of your busy schedules to grace this occasion. I must tell you here that of all the awards that I have received over time, I cherish being awarded the most the most outstanding freight forwarder in the last decade.”
“Talking about challenges faced by the freight forwarding practitioners in Nigeria visa vis the port industry, you know we are faced problem of poor infrastructure, multiplicity of government agencies, imposition of value by officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, activities of the government agencies, challenges associated with government itself and even the shipping companies and terminal operators”, he said.
Meanwhile, Publisher of the Shipping World Magazine, Elder Asu Beks, while delivering a welcome address at the event, urged the Federal Government to urgently address the myriads of challenges faced by the maritime industry, which he described as the imminent cash cow for the country given the uncertainties in the global oil market.
Other recipients of awards at the event include; the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Moghalu, CEO, SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium, Princess Vicky Haastrup, former Director at NIMASA, Queen Lami Tumaka, the Managing Director of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Oyema, Former President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Tony Nted, CEO, Ailes Group, Chief Michael Onuoha, Former Vice Chancellor of Nigerian Maritime University (NMU), Prof. Maureen Etebu, CEO, Wichtech Exploration and Development Company Ltd, Dr. Chidozie Nwankwo and the former Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).