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Tony Iju Nwabunike, President, ANLCA

The National President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Iju Tony Nwabunike has called on maritime stakeholders and his colleagues in the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) to reflect on the lessons of Jesus Christ death, the betrayal of Judas Iscariot and the resurrection of Jesus Christ which brought peace to the whole world during Easter, without discrimination to religion, tribe or race.

He urged his professional colleagues in the maritime industry to eschew hate, show love and forgiveness, pay correct duties and avoid importation or exportation of products that are injurious to consumers. On payment of accurate duties and taxes to government, He said ” Give to Caesar, what belongs to Caesar among other good thoughts. Read the message.

Dear Professional Colleagues. On this year’s occasion of Easter celebration , it is my sincere hope that we jointly reminisce on the import and significant of the celebration , relate it with our industry and our larger society.
We may all not be of same faith, but the Easter message appeals to all mankind irrespective of religion, race and other differences which adds to the plurality and beauty of the entire human existence.

The selflessness of Jesus Christ, showing love and commitment to all by making the supreme sacrifice without expecting reward in return, while also seeking forgiveness for his persecutors , even at the point of death are indeed instructive.

The betrayal by Judas Iscariot for wealth purpose and the inglorious way he (Judas) ended also symbolises that treachery or any form of betrayal may only look beneficial in the interim, but the end is sadness and regret. Masterstroke of the celebration is the biblical report of Jesus’ resurrection to life after three days in death. This is the demonstration of hope for mankind.

For those of us in the maritime industry, this should be a time to reflect on the very strong virtues Easter celebration comes with. Let’s increase the love for ourselves and great country Nigeria.
Forgiveness should be freely extended amongst ourselves without being judgmental. For those of us who observed the forty days fasting that precedes Easter, it’s time to resolve not to go back to anything ungodly.

Actions that exemplifies compliance to rules like honest declarations, payment of right duty demonstrated by Jesus in tax remittance when he talked about giving to Caeser what belongs to Caeser shouldn’t depart from us. I enjoin importers and agents to always pay their taxes either in the form of import duty or otherwise. It is in following in the footsteps of Jesus. Sincere declarations and being law abiding will not only give the declarant and agents peace of mind, it is a way of contributing to national economic growth for our common good.

Importers and international traders should avoid bringing things that hurts the health of consumers or inflame society such as hard drugs, arms, ammunition and unwholesome or expired consumables. If we are sincere, laudable initiatives like the electronic call up system will be implemented with ease without the observed hiccups in it’s implementation

Nigeria’s unemployment rate which increased to 33.3% in the last quarter of 2020 from 27.1% in second quarter of last year according to National Bureau of Statistics, is not irreversible. More productive employment can be generated under an atmosphere of increased compliance. The number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of Q4, 2020 was 122,049,400 out of an estimated population of over 200 million persons.

The maritime industry still holds the ace for supporting other economic activities and as participants in this sensitive sector, let us rise to be counted among those who improved our economy in our time. Many are active, but truly not productively engaged due to possible factors like greed causing fewer persons to hold grip on common wealth, while active workers are mostly underpaid.

Like I reiterated in my new year message, I have forgiven those who hurt me in the course of my being of service to professional colleagues. For me it is the best way to celebrate this season of love, sacrifice and soul searching reflections. Jesus has given us examples to emulate this season and always. May God’s love and blessings reign in our lives, families, careers and association’s now and always.

The resurrection power God manifested in Jesus is truly a symbol of hope that things can get better than they were yesterday and opportunities in our future are limitless. Let’s make sacrifices for our common good, be forgiving, avoid greed, run away from act of betrayal and shun lust for earthly wealth at the detriment of common the good for all.
Happy Easter celebration.

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