The Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to checkmate activities of multiple agencies at the nation’s ports.
Its National President, Mr Tony Nwabunike, made the call while playing host to the executive members, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Council, led by its Chairman, Mr Adeleye Ajayi.
Nwabunike also urged the government to streamline the agencies, saying that their presence had made the ports unattractive to land-locked countries.
He also decried the incursion of foreign customs brokerage agents into clearing and forwarding business, which he said Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) should not tolerate.
According to him, safety and security remain key in the maritime industry.
“The issues of arbitrary levies and charges must stop to make Nigeria ports attractive in the sub-region.
“The Federal Government must also look at the area of compensation of two per cent of annual customs duty for licenced customs agents,” he said.
The ANLCA president stressed the need to actualise borderless trade in Africa through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Nwabunike, however, regretted that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalisation Scheme had not been effectively used by Nigerians.
He said journalists on maritime beat should close ranks to move the industry forward, adding that NUJ has a lot of work to do in this direction.
Nwabunike alleged that some journalists in the maritime sector thrived on sensational news, saying that this was unprofessional.
He promised to partner with the NUJ in the area of training for easy comprehension of maritime technologies and factual reporting.
In his remarks, Ajayi assured ANLCA of cordial relationship with the media, and appealed for support, particularly in the area of capacity building for its members.
He solicited for ANLCA’s assistance for the completion of some key projects of the union, including the ongoing remodelling of NUJ secretariat.
Ajayi added that training and retraining as well as welfare of members were top on the agenda of his executive.
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Interior, Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho, has called on the Federal Government to tackle armed robbery and piracy on Nigeria's territorial waters.
Ihenacho made the call during a courtesy visit by the executive members of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Lagos State Council led by Mr Adeleye Ajayi.
He called on the Nigerian Navy to be involved in checkmating the activities of pirates.
"Armed robbery and piracy give our country a bad name and one of the consequences is that the premium is added to insurance on goods coming in," the master mariner added.
Captain Ihenacho supported the development of a national fleet which must not be predominantly under government ownership, but added that private participation should be allowed.
Ihenacho also promised a cordial working relationship with the NUJ, Lagos Council and commended programmes outlined for members.
On his part, the Chairman, NUJ Lagos Council, described Ihenacho as media- friendly and supportive anytime he was invited by the media.
He commended the contributions of the mariner to the maritime sector in terms of Cabotage Act 2003; the move to create a national carrier to be administered by the private sector; and human capacity development in the shipping industry.
Ajayi said the union looked forward to the support of the firm on key projects of the NUJ in Lagos.