By Kenneth Jukpor
Following the emergence of a new Customs command for the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has inaugurated new chapter executives at the ANLCA Airport International Wing Chapter.
The National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Iju Tony Nwabunike presided over the inauguration yesterday at the association’s National Secretariat, charging the new interim executives to distinguish themselves with excellence and be worthy ambassadors of ANLCA.
Speaking at the event, Nwabunike said, “Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has actually created more commands recently and the system of ANLCA which was established in 1954 is that the moment Customs establishes any command; we must have a chapter there.”
The ANLCA President noted that cargo evacuation at the airports have been characterized by speed and efficiency, unlike the nation’s seaports which are bereft of ease of doing business, he charged the new executives to strive to maintain the efficiency at the airports.
Meanwhile, the Vice President of ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Farinto told the appointed executives to see it as a privilege to be an executive of the association, even as he recalled that the aims and objectives of the association include protecting the interest of her members who have legitimate challenges.
“If you have a Customs Controller who is stubborn, you can also be stubborn; the most important thing is that you are protecting the interest of your members. Please, International Chapter, all eyes are going to be on you. We need to start reading our books, it is important you know the books so that you will be able to know how to defend our members. This constitution that we have here, even when you are inaugurated today as executives, please, know that it is to protect our members, it is to project the image of this association better.”
“You’re going to be exposed to a lot of things, a lot people and challenges but I also need to remind you that you are being inaugurated today as interim executives, meaning that it is going to last for a period of ninety days. Our President has graciously said that we will not allow our interim to drag like the other interims that have been there for one year or two years. As soon as we see that you are on ground, on or before the ninety days, we may conduct elections. But the history of ANLCA in that chapter will not be complete if your names are not mentioned that you were the pioneer executives of the Chapter.”
Also speaking at the event, the National Secretary of the association, quoting from the relevant sections of the ANLCA constitution said, “This is ANLCA constitution, this is an association built on a written agreement which is the constitution. If you agree that you you are a member of this association, this document is binding on you. You do not have your will power to violate this agreement and if you have any issue that warrants you to want to settle a score with either a member of this association or any authority of this association, there is a provision for you to go through a process to show your grievances.”
“You are not supposed to resort to self-help or fighting or going to Police. You are supposed to go through arbitration. It is when all these have broken down and you have gone through all these protocols, of course, you can now approach the court. If anybody goes to court or do anything contrary to these provisions, I will be there to face you squarely at the court and tell you, you are wrong based on this agreement.”
“What we are witnessing today is in conformity and in agreement with Section 10, that the management team of the Nigeria Customs Service, in their wisdom, decided to split the airport command into two separate commands and as a fledging command and a chapter, a secured port environment, it behooves on the management of ANLCA to respond in kind by establishing the EXCOs. So, the privilege you have today is to be the pioneer executive of the international chapter.”
Meanwhile, the Interim Chairman of the Murtala International Airport chapter, Hon. Dr. Olisaemeka Ugwunze expressed gratitude at the offer to serve the association while pledging to work diligently with his executives to deliver worthwhile results at the chapter.
“I want to assure you that I will do my best and this is a promise. On behalf of myself and my colleagues here, we are saying a big thank you for this privilege. We also thank everyone who has spent time arranging for our goodness and this special occasion,” he said.