The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has criticised the government for failing to provide palliative measures, despite their roles in import, export and supply chain management.

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ANLCA National President, Tony Nwabunike, in a statement marking the Independence Day celebrations on Thursday, lamented that no intervention through the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry had been introduced to support their businesses.

According to him, the maritime sector holds the capacity for 50,000 direct and ancillary employment opportunities from the ports, airports, border stations, delivery chain linking warehouses and markets, if properly harnessed.

Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike
ANLCA National President, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike.

He said, “We have heard and seen Federal Government interventions through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank of Industry to private sector businesses improving on their viability and sustainability.

“No such programme has been designed for us in the freight forwarding and logistics sector of our economy.

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“Aside from not getting any form of palliative from government, there is no offer of single-digit loan by government tailored towards our needs in procuring trucks, maintaining warehouses, investing in logistics aided technology like tracking devices and fleet of motorcycles for e-commerce transactions in a state of difficult traffic situation as what we experience in Lagos.”

The association called on the Federal Ministries of Finance and Transport, Trade and Industry, the CBN and the Nigeria Customs Service to see freight forwarders as deserving of state support.

Nwabunike promised to open talks with government ministries, departments and agencies to see how the maritime sector can be integrated into government interventionist financial programmes and benefit from support initiatives.