“Embrace eCommerce To Grow Economy”-Nwabunike
Seek Loans to Boost Logistics Chain
Task Agents to be Vigilant against Covid19
National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Hon Iju Tony Nwabunike, has call on customs brokers, freight agents and logistics service providers to embrace technology, improve their IT awareness capacity, deploy more computers in the businesses as the digital age widens and spreads further.
In his new year message to Nigerians, Nwabunike, extolled Customs brokers as pillars of the economy and great contibutors to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, even when not recognized as such even in the midst of the prevailing Covid19 pandemic.
According to Nwabunike, “Being at work and staying compliant with Covid19 protocols throughout the periods when many others stayed at home are functions of individual self discipline, corporate coordination and selflessness.This selfless attributes was a factor driven and held beyond personal gain by you but aimed at ensuring needed cargoes ,including medical supplies exited our ports to their destined locations across the country”.
Calling for vigilance on Covid19, The ANLCA President said “As we enter the new year, 2021 we must not lose our guards – A second wave of #Covid19 has been identified and detected. It has become imperative that we continue to take responsibility and act in line with clearly spelt out guidelines. Our colleagues at all recently reopened land borders who were not at work last year due to border closure are advised to take a cue from customs brokers and freight forwarders at the sea and air ports . Taking responsibility is aimed at keeping ourselves safe and avoiding spread of the disease to our loved ones at home and the larger society”.
“As you are aware, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2021 Appropriation Law of over N13.5 trillion with a charge to revenue generating agencies to scale up their efforts for collection into government coffers. We, as professionals, interface with no fewer than 9 revenue collecting and regulatory agencies of government in the course of our professional services and will therefore be part of Nigeria’s success stories economically, as we have always been, albeit unsung”, the ANLCA boss said.
Speaking on revenue generation and the economy, Nwabunike enumerated statistics The impact of our activities on Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and many others reinforces our strategic role in government economic diversification agenda and increasing it’s non oil revenue base.
According to figures obtained from the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) and African Development Bank (AfDB) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was projected to rise to 2.9% in 2020 and 3.3% in 2021 depending on implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan(ERGP)
The country’s GDP for 2019 was $448.12B, a 12.55% increase from 2018 which was $398.16B, a 5.97% increase from 2017. All these have our inputs. I must commend the resilience of the freight forwarders, customs brokers for keeping the chain of commerce unbroken by ensuring circulation of goods and services across the country even within areas of security concern.
Other parts of the message reads “Be assured, once again that ANLCA under my watch and by your popular mandate, will continue to engage government strategically at various levels to achieve better deals for all our colleagues.
We look forward to interfacing stronger with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) on the need for a special loan scheme to help logistics firms in expanding and maintaining fleet of heavy duty and lighter vehicles required beyond coverage of train services. As the world evolve new and faster ways of doing things, we must strengthen the chords of e-commerce, online transactions, virtual meetings and deploying Internet of things (IoT) to maximal economic and productive use.
You may recall that criminal elements made murderous attempts at human lives and destroyed part of our property at the National Secretariat of ANLCA last year.
For this, we are moving forward without grudge and on behalf of all members of the National Executive Committee (NECOM), we have forgiven the misdeeds of anyone attempting to disrupt our development agenda for ANLCA and our profession.
ANLCA is strong and indivisible. It is in reality, the mother of every group that identifies itself as a customs licence or freight forwarding body in Nigeria.
As mother hen of the sector, our wings are wide enough to cover and cater for all. I hereby call on all aggrieved persons in our organisation to come into our warm embrace as we enter a new year. Let’s work together as one.
No person or group is perfect. Whoever feels offended or aggrieved by our style of administration should also forgive us any perceived shortcoming on our part. We can explore continually, the channels of dialogue and tolerance as we grow older and stronger.