By Elizabeth Chukwuma
The long drawn battle line between the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, and, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, appears to have taking a turn for the worse.
This is because Tony nwabunike, President, ANLCA, had rubbished the N100,000.00 COVID 19 Palliative, which to sources was given to the Association by Bonniface Anieboam , the founder of NAGAFF. ANLCA, may not have been the only the group, Aniebonam, described as a very generous person in the nation’s maritime circles had extended the COVID 19 Palliative in this trying and difficult times in the country .
He was said to have doled out N50,000.00 the Luck Amiwero led National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, N0.5 million to the COVID 19 Presidential task Force under the Chairmanship of Boss Mustapha, Secretary the government of the Federation and N0.035million to the Lagos state government.
Many had expected the no nonsense Amiwero, the President of NCMDLCA, to turn down the amount given to the Association by the NAGAFF Founder but he kept his silence.But Nwabunike , the President of ANLCA, could not take it. Nwabunike has his reasons to turn down the Anniebonam donations, thus sending a signal to him ANLCA members are not hungry.
His Statement on April 21, 2020 concerning the N0.1 million donations speaks volume. ‘’ANLCA as a ’’body of notable individuals in the Customs Brokerage and Freight Forwarding Profession have stepped up giving help to persons both within and outside the nation’s maritime industry’’ without making noise about it. He has said that the Association will not giving such help because ’’it owe humanity and the immediate society some degree of charity’’.
Many believe that his anger with the Aniebonam COVID 19 palliative had been the condition that beneficiaries must contact him in order to collect it. The question on the lips of most people including Nwabunike was : how the NAGAFF Founder, expects ANLCA, let alone the Federal government or the Lagos state government to send Representatives to contact him at the Nagaff village, Apapa, because of the Association COVID 19 palliative when they are engrossed in managing the effect of the pandemic and containing the global health crisis?
, He is right. This is because no official of the COVID 19 Task Force or the Lagos state government, according to insider sources had contacted him to collect their own donation ostensibly to support the fight in curbing the spread of the deadly disease in Lagos state and the country in general.
The ANALCA President may have looked at the donations made to the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 by individuals that runs into billions of naira without condition and wondered why Aniebonam could make his COVID 19 palliative public without thinking about its implications
Take for instance, Aliko Dangote, President Dangote group of Companies, who had mobilised other private sector operators to raise N25 billion for the Fund. Indeed, it had remained a closed guided secret until Mustapha, the Chairman of the COVID 19 Task Force, , had the opportunity to speak about the group at a briefing in Abuja, the Federal Capatal Territory, FCT, recently.
Out of that amout, Dangote alone was said to have donated N2 billion, Tony Elumelu, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman, United Bank For Africa, a Pan African Bank, Femi Otedola,Abdulsamad Rabiu,Folurunsho Alakija, Jim Ovia, Founder of Zenith Bank, and OBA Otudeko were said to have donated N1 billion each to the COVID 19 Fund and equally donated to the Lagos state government without a media show of it. The billionaires had walked to the COVID 19 office quietly to make their donations without any condition.
This may have informed why the ANLCA president had asked Anniebonnam to plough back the N0.1 million donations made to the Association back to NAGAFF purse and use it in ’’ helping to achieve a befitting operating environment for it and its operatives’’, stating that that ’ the Association had been at the forefront of supporting the less privileged’’.
Many believe that by rejecting the COVID 19 palliative, Nwabunike has made Aniebonam to understand that they are not close friends and may never receive any gift both in cash or kind from him and his Association. He may have also given room to the NAFF Founder to support the opposition against him in ANLCA which had been there over the years.