ANLCA commended for collaborating with Customs to improve ships’ turnaround time




The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) was at the weekend  recognised and commended by the Presidency for  working with the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) to achieve improvement in the turnaround time of vessels that call at the Nigerian ports.
The Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, who applauded the association while speaking at the event of the commissioning of an ultra-modern secretariat in Lagos, remarked that the collaboration had also ensured improved revenue generated for government.

“ANLCA is an association that has in collaboration with the Nigerian Customs Service improved the operations of the maritime industry, and improved the turnaround time of ships. What we are witnessing today is an evidence of the cooperation between the Customs and the agents,” Sambo said.
Sambo who was represented at the event by the special adviser to the President on maritime matters, Mr. Leke Oyewole, said ANLCA had contributed remarkably to the improvement of operations in the industry.
 He remarked that the association’s achievement of building and commissioning an ultra-modern national secretariat in Lagos was indicative of the benefits of the consolidation going on in the maritime industry.
In his words: “It is a wonderful development and a thing that is long expected, but the fact that we expected it does not translate to actualising it, so, I must give them (ANLCA) all the credit because the vision to do this is commendable and  it is a manifestation of the consolidation going on in the maritime sector.”

Also speaking, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, commended the association for its achievement, saying “the new secretariat would help promote efficient and effective performance of the association’s role as regional headquarters in West and Central Africa.”
Umar who was also represented by his special adviser on maritime operations, Tahir Dikko, said that the newly- commissioned facility would enhance productivity and serve as a unifying factor to all stakeholders.
 “This facility will no doubt increase the access to business information, prompt release of goods on arrival in any Nigerian port at a reduced cost.”
 He said that celebration of 60th anniversary by the association was a landmark achievement in its lifespan, as well as an evidence of sustainability of its purpose of functions over the years.
“The FG is aware of the critical role the association is playing in the nation’s revenue generation through the Nigerian Customs, and this has also drastically reduced the smuggling of contraband and other malpractices at the nation’s port.
 “In this regard, the FG remains committed to collaborate with any organisation in the maritime sector in realising 48 hours cargo clearance target, whose objective is to decongest the ports, bring down cost and attract greater patronage with the ultimate goal of facilitating trade.”
 In his speech, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Abdulahi Inde, described the completion of the national secretariat as determination of the association to establish itself as a professional body.
“For me, your 60th anniversary is an indication that ANLCA has come of age as a strong and critical institution in the trade facilitation chain. The commissioning of a permanent structure as your national secretariat also symbolises your bold determination to establish your association as a professional body.  The Nigerian Customs Service therefore wishes to identify with you on this occasion and to affirm our commitment to partnering with you in attaining professionalism.”
 Dikko expressed his congratulation to the president of the association and members of the executive committee, and reaffirmed the commitment of the Service to partnering with the association in achieving professionalism.
 “We note with satisfaction the cooperation that the Customs has enjoyed from ANLCA over the years, particularly under the leadership of Prince Olayiwola Shittu. We also acknowledged the remarkable feat achieved by ANLCA which currently participated in local and international conferences. We are indeed proud of Price Shittu’s achievement,” the Customs Chief said.
 Going down memory lane on how the building plan was achieved, the National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said it was the generous contribution of the CGC and his friends that helped the project come alive.
 “I cannot but mention with gratitude from my mind what the CGC of Customs contributed towards the success of this dream. When I whispered to him that we needed a permanent national secretariat, because I told him we could not continue paying rent, he said he had heard and I also told DCG Tahir about the dream and he told me not to worry.
 “But when it was dragging and I called DCG, he said I should not worry but, one day I went on an official visit and the CGC asked me to give some people in his office my card, I thought it was for bills of laden to start falling, but I never knew it was the beginning of the realisation of this dream.
 “That was when the friends of CGC Dikko laid the foundation of this place by generous contributions. The man is a man with magic wand and I am happy that I became the president during his tenure,” Shituu said.
 Source: Ships and Ports.