2021: ANLCA President calls for e-commerce, online transactions to enhance economic growth
* We will interface with CBN on special loan scheme for logistics firms – Says Tony Nwabunike
( Written by Silas Onuoha ):
As 2021 economic year begins, the National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon
Iju Tony Nwabunike, is calling for e-commerce, online transactions, virtual meetings and deploying Internet of things (IoT) to maximal economic and productive use.
In the same vein, Nwabunike is seeking a special loan scheme for logistics firms to expand, maintain fleet of heavy duty and lighter vehicles required beyond coverage of train services.
Hon Nwabunike made these assertions in his 2021 new year message to Nigerian Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders.
He informed, “We look forward to interfacing stronger with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 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.
“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’s economic diversification agenda, increasing its non-oil revenue base.
“According to the figures obtained from National Bureau of 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 implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)
“The country’s GDP for 2019 was $448.12B, showing 12.55% increase from 2018, which was $398.16B, with 5.97% increase from 2017. All these have our inputs.
“I must commend the resilience of 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.
“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 nine 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.”
He went on, “I want to specially greet you for being part of our country’s social and economic success in 2020, as we all stepped into the new year, 2021.
Our individual and collective resilience in keeping our ports working, making the logistics chain functional during the periods of lockdown and movement restrictions, underscores the importance of our relevance as essential service providers.
“Being at work and staying compliant with COVID-19 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.
“Even when the Federal Government provided free buses for us to access and exit ports, which in most cases weren’t enough, many of you were at work on your own at extra costs to you. You are appreciated.
“As we enter the new year, 2021 we must not lose our guards – A second wave of COVID-19 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.”
He assured, “ANLCA under my watch and by the popular mandate of members will continue to engage government strategically at various levels, in order to achieve better deals for all our members.
“You could 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.”