The age-long leadership crisis at the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) could reach a conclusive end today or take a new twist as over 70 licensed Customs agents are set to decide the fate of the association during national elections in Lagos.
While Dr. Kayode Farinto and Chief Emenike Nwokeji lead the battle for the presidency; Prince Olusegun Oduntan and Chief Dennis Okwu are vying for the vice presidential position in the election to be keenly monitored by maritime stakeholders, especially the freight forwarding public, just as Nigerians were glued to the Presidential Elections Petition Tribunals (PEPT) final judgement, yesterday.
As ANLCA prepare for the elections, there remains an air of uncertainty on the next trajectory of the association after the polls, nevertheless it behoves on the leaders and members to choose peace instead of chaos, irrespective of the outcome of the electoral contest.
Industry observers have described the contest a battle of influence by two recent ANLCA Presidents; Prince Olayiwola Shittu and Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike as their deputies ‘Nwokeji’ and ‘Farinto’ go head-to-head for National President.
Nigeria’s freight forwarding sector already suffers a huge setback as a result of the prolonged leadership dispute in the nation’s biggest and oldest association, as foreigners dominate the business while numerous ills are prevalent in the practice without a unified body of professionals.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that only about 70 electorates will be cleared to participate at the polls which initially had over 95 entrants as several potential voters have been screened out on account of not having a renewed 2023 Customs Agency license.
News Diet also recalls a recent harmonization roundtable with some Peace Accord Resolutions reached at the strategic meeting which held on August 23rd, 2023 at RockView Hotel Apapa, Lagos.
The resolutions were: “The corporate image, members (practitioners) of ANLCA and the professionals should be the core interest of every leader in attendance.”
“It was mutually agreed on the negotiation table for the election harmonization process, that every one is urged to make sacrifices and be committed to protecting the corporate image of the ANLCA and preserve the professional interest.”
“That, while considering any workable options towards arriving at a generally acceptable election modality, that the adopted ANLCA Supreme Constitution, must not loose its essence, wherefore any election options or modalities, must be in compliance with the stipulations of the Constitution 2013. Wherefore, for emphasis sake, all flexible considerations must not mean a deliberate intent to undermine the Constitution but rather a path to finding peace for a common good.”
“That, the total considerate and acceptable electorates to be enlisted to make the voters lists is 93 members, which includes: the Chapter Executives = 61; BOT members = 8 and Aspirants = 24. This list is subject to ratification following the constitutional enabled process as shall be published by ASECO.”
“Specifically, it agreed that, ASECO shall first publish a provisional voters list and give grace for reverifications and reactions by the concerned party, and thereafter, it can go ahead to publish the final voters list.”
“All eligible voters must be subjected to screening by ASECO. In the same manner, the aspirants across camps are at liberty to rescreen the published voters list with consideration to eligibility of such enlisted licenses.”
“That, at the end of this process, the BOT, ADMIN and ASECO should write their reports, just as the CCC shall also write its own reports of the meeting outcome.”
“In order to ensure that ample time is given for ASECO not to undertake a hurried election or make hasty mistakes, an extension of time beyond the 31st August, was considered. Considerably, two (2) weeks additional days was approved for ASECO to tidy up with the election.”
“That the date finally agreed for ASECO to conduct the election commencing, two (2) weeks from today and that is 6th and 7th of September, 2023.”
“That, the election should be held in Lagos for ease of logistics.”
“That, the BOT should use its position to raise and fund the financial shortfall of #5million required by the ASECO to execute the election.”
“That, the Administrative staff should assist the ASECO with necessary information needed for positive outcome.”
The meeting was attended by the following CCC representative and the ANLCA Leaders: Aare Hakeem Olarenwaju Rff – CCC Chairman; DCG Austen Warikoru – CCC Nominated Presiding Officer; Dr Eugene Nweke – CCC Secretary; HRH Eze Amb. Damian Obianigwe – Special Invited Guest; Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha – BOT Chairman; Chief Sir Ernest Elochukwu – BOT Member; Prince Ozo Chukwura – BOT Vice Chairman.
Other participants were; Mr Eniola Igbariola – BOT Member; Chief Emenike Nwokeoji – Presidential Aspirant; Prince Segun Oduntan – Vice Presidential Aspirant; Dr. Farinto Kayode – Presidential Aspirant; Chief Dennis Okwu – Vice Presidential Aspirant; Alhaji Mukiala Abdulazeez – Sole Administrator.
The ASECO Chairman, Nze Aloy Igwe and other ASECO members; Mr. Obe Samuel Oluwole, Mr. Lekan Babalola, Mr. Elochukwu Obiora Emmanuel, Mr. Fatimehin Tope, and Mr. Mustapha Yakubu; were also present at the meeting.