By RICHARDS ADENIYI
COMPTROLLER-General of Customs (CGC), Hameed Ali has strongly made a passionate appeal to all factions of the freight forwarding associations including the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, (NAGAFF), AREFFN and the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents to return to the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA).
This appeal is also in consonant as the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) which has also initiated a similar initiative to ensure the Customs does not license any individual or corporate organizations as a customs broker unless it is first cleared by CRFFN.
National Daily gathered that these developments ensued recently at the Customs and stakeholders engagement on the review of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) organized by the Nigeria Customs Service in Lagos.
Subsequently, the Customs boss said that the proposed CEMA will not be passed without taking into consideration the submissions of the CRFFN in order to avoid conflict between both agencies and their enabling Acts.
Again, Ali called for consolidation of associations in the sector, saying that without this, they will not be recognized by Customs.
It may be pertinent to state that ANLCA was established under the ILLITERATE PROTECTION CAP 83 of 1954 with certificate number 38799 of 30thSeptember, 1954. ANLCA since 1954 has been the only umbrella body and the voice of all Licensed Customs Brokers/Agents in Nigeria. The Association was established with the view to represent, promote, and protect the unity, peace, progress and also to defend the integrity of the members.
Earlier, the ANLCA National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, leading a large entourage of members, which accounted for almost 40 per cent attendees had presented a well-thought out, professionally focused and clauses – specific critical observation on the draft CEMA.
The presentation whose preamble came with a covering letter supported by a copy of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) study on Customs brokers released in June 2016, emphasized what the WCO prescribed on the expected symbiotic relationship between the Nigeria-Customs Service and the Customs Licensed Agents, particularly the need for the4 Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) to leverage on the Association (ANLCA) as globally recognized Customs brokers, to boost revenue as well as sanitise the Customs environment in cargo clearing/delivery processes.
It will be recalled that Shittu had campaigned since 2010 for the position that the Customs boss now canvassed that all clearing agents should go back and join the ANLCA body. This position will definitely be resisted by those other smaller bodies who would not like to have their membership dismantled and may destabilize the customs maritime industry.