By Innocent Orok
Honorable Iju Tony Nwabunike, National President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents ( ANLCA) has called on his members to explore the various opportunities created by the $3.4Trillion African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which kick-off in January 2020.
The ANLCA President made the call during the election of the Executives of Eastern Zone Chapters of the association on Tuesday at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Nwabunike urged the emerging executives to mobilise their members (by taking advantage of the training opportunities at the national headquaters of ANLCA) to effectively key into the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He said “Those to be elected through this meeting should take a cue from the national body and keep abreast of the developments like training and retraining programmes we will be doing directly and virtually later in the year, ”
“As Customs Brokers, we have roles to play in deepening intra-Africa trade and ensuring seamless cargo movement within and outside our Continent. Therefore, I urge you all to approach this emerging basket of opportunities with optimism and positive minds towards making the best of it.”
He tasked members of the association to ensure that they sharpen their ICT capacities, urging them to further embrace learning of international languages like French, Mandarin (Chinese), Arabic and other means of international communication for business transactions.
On the election, Nwabunike, said, “I am pleased with the very peaceful, interactive and robustly engaging methods all the contestants have applied before, during and after the campaigns leading to the elections today.
“As a body, accept the congratulations of the National Executive Committee (NECOM) for your orderly and brotherly conducts. We are proud of you,” he said.
Nwabunike added that ANLCA is one strong and indivisible group, urging members not to be distracted by the activities of renegades and detractors.
“Our strength is in the collective unity we all profess and uphold irrespective of differences in tribe, language,” he stated.
He urged members not to lower their guard on compliance with Covid-19 protocols, saying the second wave of the pandemic is on and real. “ANLCA is at the vanguard of flattening the curve in our ports and within the total logistics chain. Continue to be part of our Covid-19 compliance drive for us all to survive it with our families,” he stressed.