Nwabunike tasks stakeholders to surpass Singapore maritime record
• Insists freight forwarders, agents crucial to revenue collection
National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Iju Tony Nwabunike, has charged stakeholders to contribute their quota towards attaining and surpassing the Singaporean record and become global maritime capital.
Nwabunike gave the charge while felicitating with Christians in his Christmas message. He said Singapore became the maritime capital of the world in 2015, thereby, becoming an inspiration to emerging economies such as, Nigeria.
He noted that Nigeria could become the topmost maritime destination in Africa, especially, as it generates the highest cargo throughput with a population of over 200 million.
Nwabunike also said Nigeria becoming a hub port is realisable to serve the needs of the country and others like Niger, Chad, and other neighbouring countries.
He said with the Lekki Deep Seaport, soon to be commissioned, customs broker is in a vantage professional position to unearth the numerous benefits derivable from this economic facility.
“I am aware that the port will be Nigeria’s first fully automated deep seaport with the most modern ship-to-shore cargo handling facilities, close to a free zone serving as a manufacturing hub within the same environment with a refinery. This is many opportunities rolled in one space for us as importers, exporters, transporters and traders.
“This automation underscores the need for customs brokers to improve their knowledge as I have always emphasised. Knowledge and ICT-backed skills will help us function better in an automated port environment,” he stated.
Nwabunike also stated that freight forwarders and customs agents are strategic and crucial to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) attaining and sustaining the N1trillion revenue collection mark.
He extolled the roles and contributions of freight forwarders and customs agents in building and growing the economy, noting the revenue collection by the NCS could not have been possible without their cooperation.
The ANLCA boss said freight forwarders’ professional functions touch strongly on the collection of government revenue and trade facilitation, noting that they are indeed unsung and strategic partners with Nigeria Customs Service and other government agencies.
Nwabunike urged importers, freight forwarders and customs agents to pay their customs duties accurately as well as avoid duty evasion and any sharp practice that undermines Federal Government’s drive for more none oil revenue.
“Let’s bear in mind that as we move cargoes, so are we moving the national economy forward while advancing the cause of international trade, supporting productivity and creating sustainable employments,” he stated.