National President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has said that his members are more knowledgeable in matters of tariff and classification of cargoes more than some Nigerian Customs officers.
Shittu who was speaking recently at the commissioning of office blocks at the Seme Border chapter of the association at Seme Border, told his members to be ready to challenge customs officers on tariff and classification matters at anytime.
He described his members as customs brokers and professionals and that they should no longer be regarded a freight forwarder, he described a freight forwarder as an all-purpose-person.
"I started this job in 1969, most of the officers that were alive then are gone, but we are still here, we are a barrack, we are not going anywhere, and for every officer we meet, we accumulate more knowledge than an officer that is sent to a command, sometimes he has to learn from us"
"Don't plan to be a chairman of any chapter in ANLCA if you cannot confront a customs officer and argue with him on tariff and classification, you should be able to argue"
"As a customs broker you must have knowledge" Shittu charged his members.
Shittu said that the problem he met ongound when he became ANLCA President in 2010 was that people were not ready to read and learn.
"When I came in as president, even my very close national officers were using Nokia 3310, but we knew there was internet even as at that time. But today my officers are using adroid phones and ipads because they want to accumulate knowledge" he said
Speaking on the nomenclature of who is a freight forwarder and a customs broker, the ANLCA President said that his members are customs brokers and are knowledgeable in customs procedures and processes including classification, preparing assessment and advising the importer on the right thing to do.
He noted that this is more than learning for PHD in the federation.
"We know that out of the blues they have brought the name "freight forwarder", but the different between a freight forwarder and a customs broker is that a freight forwarder is a 'johnny man', he is an all purpose person, a vulcanizer, a transporter"