Customs Agents: Resolving the ANLCA Debacle


Spread the love
By Francis Ugwoke
Early this year, the freight forwarding industry was agog with celebration that the five years of crisis in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) had indeed been resolved. This was following the intervention of the leadership of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) led by Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar. The former Chairman of the CRFFN Governing Board had after various moves called for a stakeholders’ meeting where all the aggrieved parties agreed to follow the path of peace.
Among the gladiators who offered to drop their sword were the camp of Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha who was the factional Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Association and the Vice President of the association, Dr. Kadyode Farinto on the other side. Before that meeting, some members had attacked the secretariat of the association at Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, on more than two occasions, damaging some properties belonging to the association. It took the Farinto group which is the ruling house sometimes before they had access to the building. Thereafter, the two camps were allowed to co-exist in the office. Then followed the reconciliation called by the CRFFN.
The issue in ANLCA is the fight over who has the right as BOT in the association.

Mustapha led one of the groups while the other group was led by Dr. Taiwo Afolabi who it would appear does not seem to show interest in the fight. He had been chosen as BoT Chairman by the Farinto group under the Presidency of Iju Tony Nwabunike during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Owerri, Imo State, few years ago. Farinto took over as Acting President following the study leave to the United States by Nwabunike.
As part of the reconciliation, the CRFFN had called for an AGM in Lagos. Members of the Mustapha group had boycotted the AGM but Mustapha and his four members of his group attended.

CRFFN former Chairman, Abubakar, Acting Registrar, Mrs Chinyere Uromta, apparently aware of the bottled up grievances among participants had engaged the Mustapha group and those of the Ag. President of ANLCA in a closed door meeting for hours before the AGM. This was when the two sides agreed to shift positions.

This led to the inauguration of a new BoT made up of Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, Dayo Azeez, Sir Ernest Elochukwu and Sir Denis Okafor as coming from Mustapha group.

Others from Farinto group were Prince Ozo Chukwura, Alhaji Awopeju, Kingsley Offor and Eniola Igbaruola.

As part of the settlement, Prince Taiwo Oyeniyi decided to step down as a BoT member and was appointed as a Patron of the association. It is not clear whether he is still the Patron under the current turn of event. The AGM also inaugurated an enlarged membership of the election committee.
Tsanni Abubakar while thanking members for the truce reached explained that the interest of his Council was in resolving the crisis.
But all the efforts have been in vain considering latest development. The two warring groups are back to the battle field. The latest issue started when some members of the Mustapha group faulted the peace accord reached at the AGM. The matter was made worse when the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) made it public that all the certificates of incorporation in respect of the BoT held by both sides had been withdrawn. In other words, members of the BoT on both sides were powerless in their efforts to exert any power to control the national executive committee of the association led by Farinto as would have been the case.
Although the association has been planning to hold an election, opposing forces have not made it easy. The association planned to hold its election on July 5 but had to cancel it. But even after the election, it does not appear that the crisis would be over. Industry stakeholders are however of the view that it is high time the elders in the association come out to offer lasting solution to the quagmire for the interest of the freight forwarding industry. Indeed, the industry and practitioners are the ones losing as the crisis has made it impossible to have one united front to confront issues in the sector. Resolving the crisis will promote industry harmony and improved productivity individually and for the national economy.

About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email