The Association of Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called on industry players to reflect on how best their contributions could unite the country and engender greater prosperity.
Mr Tony Nwabunike, National President, ANLCA, made the call in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.
The statement contained his goodwill message to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary.
Nwabunike listed some of the players as customs brokers, freight forwarders, and supply chain practitioners.
He said it had become imperative for them to reflect on the untapped potential in the country, as professionals and as businessmen.
“These reflections should be geared towards making us contribute more in making Nigeria greater, united and more prosperous.
“Our professional calling as logistics experts playing critical roles in E-commerce now requires us to think beyond clearing cargoes from the ports and be the chain linking people and business together,” he said.
Nwabunike urged the professionals not to derail in their drive for success.
“We must see ourselves as part of the move to diversify Africa’s largest economy from a totally oil dependent country to a viable country making sustainable revenue from non oil sector.
“Our roles in the import, export and supply chain management have made us critical contributors to government’s revenue drive of attaining over N4 trillion by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and supporting the Nigeria Customs Service in sustaining its N1trillion yearly collection.
“Our sector holds the capacity for 50,000 direct and ancillary employments from the ports, airports, border stations, delivery chain linking warehouses and market, if properly harnessed.
“While I call on our members and professionals in our line of business to keep up their patriotic acts of engaging only in legitimate deals and prompt payment of taxes to government, it also rests on the Nigerian state to give us support,” he said.
Nwabunike said that they had heard and seen federal government interventions through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bank of Industry (BoI) to private sector businesses improving on their viability and sustainability.
He, however, noted that no such programme had been designed for them in the freight forwarding and logistics sector of the economy.
He noted that aside not getting any form of palliative from government, there was no offer of single digit loan by government tailored towards their needs.
The areas of need, he said, were in procuring trucks, maintaining warehouses, investing in logistics aided technology and others.
Nwabunike called on the federal ministries of finance, transport, trade and industry, CBN, NCS and others to see them as professionals deserving of state support.
He said they should not only be seen as potential tax payers, “because the likely quake or collapse of the sector will adversely affect the country.”