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Leadership ego splits clearing agents

By Sulaimon Salau
04 September 2022   |   2:42 am
The crisis rocking the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has lasted for over four years with no end in sight. The latest was the intrigues that led to the outright eviction of the warring faction from office...

Tony Nwabunike

The crisis rocking the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has lasted for over four years with no end in sight. The latest was the intrigues that led to the outright eviction of the warring faction from office, which has further unsettled the Dikko Inde house.

   
This situation has largely affected the growth and development of members who continued to suffer various unfavourable government policies at the seaports, borders and airports.
 
ANLCA and other sister professional associations are expected to protect their members against unfavourable policies and actions of government agencies and stakeholders. But the unhealed wound being nursed by its leadership has exposed members over the years. The face-off has seen various factions go in and out of courts.
 
Few weeks ago, the Board of Trustees of ANLCA stormed the secretariat and inaugurated an interim administration to lead the association after the sack of its National President, Tony Iju Nwabunike and other members of his executive, whose tenure expired on April 16. 
 
The interim executive members appointed are Pius Ujubuonu (President), Jamiu Adeyinka (Vice President), Joe Sanni (Secretary), Francis Itua (Publicity Secretary), Waheed Funso Gbadamosi (Financial Secretary) and Usman Baba Lungu. 
   
ANLCA BOT Chairman, Taiwo Mustapha explained that the board, as custodians of the association, took the decision to stop the association from drifting.
 
Few days later, the Acting National President of the association, Dr. Kayode Farinto described the activities that took place at the national secretariat as the handwork of expelled members who refused to leave after being expelled by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

Farinto said: “There is nothing to worry about on the expelled members. They are not members of ANLCA and it is not me that expelled them, it was NEC. I don’t know why a part of the body will say it doesn’t belong to the body. It’s unfortunate that the West has been like this, but I can assure you that this will be the last war that will root out these people who refuse to leave.
 
“A man of 75 years parading himself as a member of the board, what’s he looking for? He has spent 12 years on the board as at the time his tenure expired, but tomorrow we are taking over our secretariat back,” he said.

   
Since then, the situation has not been palatable for clearing agents. To rescue the association from total collapse, the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, has directed the Council for Regulations of Freight Forwarding (CRFFN), Abubarkar Tsanni, to resolve the crisis rocking the association.
   
The minister’s directive was disclosed by Tsanni, at the inauguration of the committee in Lagos, saying the committee was expected to unearth the underlying factors that led to the conflicts and proffer recommendations before September 7th, 2022.
   
Tsanni said ANLCA, with over 3000 members and massive revenue generated for the federal government, should be providing leadership worthy of emulation for freight forwarding associations.
   
He said, “Yesterday, I discussed with the Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Sambo, on this ANLCA crisis and he supported the initiative to have a Conflict Resolution Committee. The minister also said that we keep him abreast with the developments and resolutions by the committee.”
   
He continued, “It is unfortunate that this ANLCA crisis has been ongoing for over four years and all efforts to resolve it have been futile. CRFFN, as the regulator of all freight forwarding associations, has decided to step up to resolve these issues. We will do our best to address the problems in such a manner that the two factions will be satisfied with the resolutions of the Council.”
   
According to him, the committee will also explore the roles of Nigerian Police and the judiciary in the ANLCA fracas in a bid to prevent further conflicts on the issue.
 
Tsanni noted that the committee was given six days to make its findings and recommendations with a view to deliberating on the resolutions at the next CRFFN Governing Board meeting scheduled to hold on September 8th, 2022.
   
Chairman of the ANLCA Crisis Resolution Committee, Alhaji Abba Yusuf, said: “The first part is to find out the history of the crisis to know what really happened and the other part is to make recommendations. We will discuss with both factions. We have veteran freight forwarders and distinguished personalities on this Committee. We will do a thorough job and hopefully resolve these conflicts.”
   
“As the foremost freight forwarding association in the country, ANLCA shouldn’t be in such a state of conflict in leadership. We will do our best and not operate with any bias,” he said.