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Freight Monitor

ANLCA moves to unravel high inflow of illicit drugs from Canada

—requests audience with Canadian embassy
Eyewitness reporter 
Worried by the spate of indiscriminate importations of illicit drugs from Canada, the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), has written to the Canadian embassy in the country for a meeting.
The decision followed the arrest of Otunba Sunday Oyebola, a high-ranking member of ANLCA, over the alleged importation of banned drugs into the country by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The Acting President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto, disclosed that the association will be engaging the Canadian ambassador as regards the high influx of illicit drugs into Nigeria through the country.

He further explained that the association had written to the Canadian embassy for a meeting with the economy attaché as regards the importation of psychotropic drugs.

“We put up a letter to Canadian embassy requesting for working visit, the issue of illicit drugs and psychotropic substances from Canada was the title of the letter.

” We told the Ambassador that we need to have a meeting with him including his economic attaché because our preliminary investigation showed that some quantity of these drugs may be allowed in Canada and whether by omission or commission, some of these drugs are deliberately left in containers when they are being imported into Nigeria.

“So we want to have a discussion with the Canadian ambassador and provide a solution so that our members will not be at the receiving end anymore.

“The rate of the importation of the drugs is increasing and what Otunba Sunday Oyebola is suffering is just a professional hazard which anybody can suffer.

” We know that if he cooperates with NDLEA in unraveling the importer, he will be granted bail”

Farinto however charged all members of the association to ensure importers sign indemnity forms before going into a contractual agreement.

He noted that the association had over the time warned members to ensure the signing of the indemnity form before deciding to take up a consignment for clearance.

He confirmed that the arrested agent is a member of ANLCA, even as he disclosed that the agent wasn’t the importer of the drug but someone contracted to clear the cargo out of the Lagos Seaport and was not aware of what was hidden in the box.

According to Farinto, the name on the bill of laden clearly showed the accused agent wasn’t the importer of the consignment.

“We called this press briefing to first of all correct the erroneous impression going round that ANLCA chieftain is involved in the clearance of illicit drugs and psychotropic substance and also reiterate all our efforts in the last few months to enlighten our members on the role to play particularly in the cost of cargo clearance.

“We are collaborating with NDLEA. It’s s our responsibility.

“Otunba Sunday Oyebola is a high-ranking member of ANLCA, one of the chapter’s executives at PTML and he was involved in the clearance of a container said to contain three vehicles, but unfortunately, at the point of examination, loud and some psychotropic substances were found in that container.

“Let me say this, Otunba Sunday Oyebola is just a clearing agent, he is not the importer of the consignment, and the consignment was not consigned in his name.

“This issue is now being politicised, it is a national issue and we should have a concern as regards the safety of our environment.

“In the last one year, the importation of psychotropic substances has been on the increase and you will recall that when we had our first NEC meeting this year, we advised our members to start giving their importers’ indemnity form and at the second NEC meeting, we advised that members should protect themselves by making sure that importers sign the indemnity form and go a step further by notarising it.

“So if it is notarized you would have been seen to have done due diligence then such agent will be on the side of the law.

“If Otunba Sunday Oyebola has yielded to this advice, he would have been a friend to NDLEA now trying to assist them to unravel the importer”, the ANLCA boss noted.

The  National Secretary of the association, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila posited that the man in question is not a drug dealer as being reported but a clearing agent.

He also reiterated that it’s important that clearing agents do a KYC (Know Your Customer) of their importers, which he said, will help protect agents when the need arises.

The ANLCA scribe also reiterated that Oyebola was not the importer of the consignment but the clearing agent contracted in the clearance of the goods which were found to have contained some psychotropic substances.
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Freight Monitor

Major industry stakeholders shun ANLCA’s NECOM inauguration

The Eyewitness Reporter 
Apparently pissed off by the protracted crisis that had made the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) a laughing stock in the maritime industry in the last five years, major industry stakeholders stayed away from the inauguration of the new National Executive Council of the association.
The new NECOM, headed by Emenike Nwokeoji, was inaugurated Thursday, November 23rd, 2023 at Marcellina Place on Isaac John Street, Ikeja.
Despite the hyped nature of the event with a vaunted grade A list of invited stakeholders, most of the stakeholders whose names were flaunted at the pre-event press conference shunned the inauguration ceremony.
Top on the list of the invited guest who didn’t honour the invitation was Wale Adeniyi, the Comptroller General of Customs, who was said to have indicated his intention to personally attend.
“Already, the Customs Comptroller General has given us his word that he would be coming personally for the inauguration” the Special Assistant to the ANLCA President on Media, Alhaji Ayokunle Sulaiman, had boasted a few days before the event.
Adeniyi sent ACG Jibo Mohammed, Zonal Coorinator, Zone A, Lagos.
Curiously, none of the heads of the agencies of government in the maritime industry such as the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Shippers’Council Council, Council of Registered Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN) showed up nor sent their representatives.
More instructive was the absence of the CRFFN which is the regulatory agency for the freight forwarding industry to which ANLCA belongs.
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola, neither came nor sent a representative.
The mass boycott of the event by the notable industry players was despite the hype to which the organizers had subjected the expected attendance of these critical stakeholders.
“The industry bigwigs, which included the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola, the Comptroller General of Customs Adewale Adeniyi, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohamed Bello-Koko, all indicated their interest to attend” Alhaji Ayokunle Sulaiman had further declared before the event.
More instructive is the absence of some of the past Presidents of the Association whose attendance would have further boosted the event.
An eyewitness account has it that apart from three past leaders of ANLCA such as Prince Shittu Olayiwola, Alhaji Innua Mohammed and understandably, Chief Ernest Elochukwu, others stayed away without sending representatives.
This was despite their hyped expected attendance.
“Also, past presidents of ANLCA and past Board of Trustees Chairmen will be in attendance” Alhaji Ayokunle Sulaiman had declared prior to the event.
Most of the terminal operators, who have business nexus with the freight forwarders, were also not keen to attend the hyped event.
Apart from Grimaldi, operators of PTML and ENL, which sent junior representatives, others like PTML, Ports and Cargos, Five Stars Logistics, and Tin Can Island Port terminal all stayed away.
For inexplicable reasons, sister freight forwarding groups, who are among the five registered freight forwarding associations with the CRFFN, also stayed away, except the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) whose President was in attendance.
However, according to eyewitness reports, what the event lacked in attendance of key industry stakeholders, it gained in the massive presence of the ANLCA members who thronged the venue apparently due to long years of being starved of such air of conviviality as a result of the long- drawn crisis in ANLCA.
Stakeholders however believed that the absence of key industry stakeholders at the ANLCA event despite their due invitation and consultation is a sign of delibitating confidence of this important stock in the industry due to the long years of factional war in the association.
They however urged the Emenike Nwokeoji-led executive council to work assiduously in order to restore the fading glory of ANLCA.
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Freight Monitor

ANLCA’s new NECOM craves attendance of industry stakeholders at inauguration 

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) is set to officially inaugurate its newly elected National Executive Council led by Emenike Nwokeoji in a grand ceremony slated for Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday, November 24th, 2023.
According to the statement issued by the Special Assistant to the ANLCA President on Media, Alhaji Ayokunle Sulaiman, industry bigwigs, which included the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola, the Comptroller General of Customs Adewale Adeniyi, the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohamed Bello- Koko, the former Executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’Council, Barrister Hassan Bello, who is billed to give the inauguration lecture, were expected to grace the occasion.
Alhaji Sulaiman disclosed that the association has set up a 13-man planning committee, headed by  Hajia Bola Muse,  to steer the event.
Hajia Muse is the Financial Secretary of the association. Other members of the planning Committee include; ANLCA Airport Chairman, Bangalore Adewusi, Western Zonal Coordinator, Femi Anifowose, Comrade Joe Sanni and Alhaji Ayo Sulaiman who is the Secretary of the Committee.
Speaking, he said “Stakeholders in the maritime and aviation sector have been invited, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy is expected, some of our Royal fathers including His Royal Highness, Oba Adegboruwa Igbobo, HRM Sekunmade of Ebute in Ikorodu among others.
“Also, past presidents of ANLCA and past Board of Trustees Chairmen will be in attendance”
“Already, the Customs Comptroller General has given us his word that he  would be coming personally for the inauguration”
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Freight Monitor

AMATO laments high level of corruption in cargo delivery system at ports, as it hosts international anti-corruption group

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) has lamented a high level of corruption in the cargo value chain at the Nigerian Ports.
Remi Ogungbemile, the Chairman of the group, who made the allegation while playing host to the international anti- Corruption group, Siemens Integrity Initiative at the association’s office Thursday, November 3rd, 2023, alleged that the existence of multiple checkpoints, extortion, slow terminals operations, touting and disunity in Customs operations often lead to confiscation of trucks after being duly cleared by Customs officials at the ports.
 A delegation of Siemens Integrity Initiative, an International anti-corruption group that was on an evaluation of the impact of anti-corruption initiatives in the Nigerian ports environment, has paid a courtesy visit to the head office of AMATO.
Siemens Internal Initiative has provided funding since 2010 to anti-corruption agencies with the vision of ensuring a corruption-free environment for businesses and corporations around the world.
Through an external assessor, Nordic Consulting Group (NCG) Copenhagen, Siemens visited to assess the level of compliance with standard business processes and the impact of anti-corruption groups in combating the menace of corruption within the Nigerian port business environment.
AMATO Chairperson, Mr. Remi Ogungbemi, who received the delegation along with members of AMATO and sister associations, thanked the group for their unwavering effort in supporting the cause of the Nigerian port industry and truckers in particular to provide a platform for profitability and sustainability of the maritime transport business space.
Ogungbemi stated that together with Siemens, while anti-corruption groups like Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and Convention on Business Integrity (CBI), are leaders in championing the cause of restoring sanity to Nigeria’s maritime industry, much work still remains to be done.
Giving a vote of confidence on  MACN and CBI, he noted that their campaigns have led to the free movement of cargo in the outbound section of the ports’ access.
He called for a review of the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) mandate to enable it to cover the inbound section of the port access roads where extortion of truckers and the existence of multiple barriers to trade hampers ease of doing business and seamless evacuation of cargoes from the ports.
He also called for an increase in human resources to tackle the menace head-on and financial support to accelerate the process of nipping the problems in the bud.
On their part, Private Sector Development & Partnership Experts Nordic Consulting, Mrs. Marie-Louis Appelquist, and Evaluation and Governance Expert Nordic Consulting, Mrs. Ayla Olesen Yurtaslan, took note of issues raised by the truckers and promised to escalate to relevant authorities through the Maritime Anti-Corruption alliance  MACN/CBI for responsive actions.
AMATO presented merit awards to Mr. Vivek Menon of MACN; Mr. Soji Apampa, the Co-founder and CEO of CBI; and Mr. Moses Fadipe, the National Coordinator of PSTT for their collective fight against corruption in the Nigerian maritime industry.
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