Hon Iju Nwabunike is the President of the Association of Nigeria Customs Licenced Agents, ANCLA, as well as the Chairman/Chief Executive, Mac-Tony Nigeria Ltd. He is equally a major player in the Oil and Gas Sector. Hon Nwabunike, is a man whom many are well pleased with, because of his benevolence and kind spirit. He is indeed a man of the people. Nwabunike is also a politician who has touched the lives of his people in Anambra state. In this interview the multi – millionaire businessman politician and maritime administrator reveals that the partial closure of the nation’s borders owing to national security issue would have grave mplication on the economy . He equally spoke of efforts to reconcile the elders of ANCLA who are at arms’ length over the Board Chairman of ANCLA and says efforts are on to return the 65 years old union to the part of peace and honour. Hon Nwabunike vibrant, intelligent and charismatic, as usual, he characterises the Apapa gridlock as well as proffers what he considers as a solution. Excerpt
By Ovie Edomi
* You were recently quoted to have said that you won’t allow the politics of ANCLA to aftect your spiritual life. Have you suddenly become a pastor?
I know that many people do not know that I was ordained an Assistant Pastor long time ago but that does not mean that you must be a Pastor to be spiritual. If you know that God is the Alpha and Omega and you have constant fellowship with Him and fear Him, you can become very spiritual without necessarily being a Pastor or Minister.of the gospel.
* The general impression is that Customs Clearing Agents get involved in under declaration and so on. How can highly spiritual people ply their trade in this business especially with the general impression?
I am not holding brief for anybody but if you say everybody is bad, good people and even angels will pass by without you knowing because of your impression.
As Customs Licensed agents we are Customs Brokers. We barely hold brief for importers. If you know how the importing business works,the customs Licenced Agent/Broker only gets to start handling the consignment when the documents are given to him. Sometimes it is during the examination of the container/goods /consignment by the customs that the agent gets to know what is in the container. That is the truth. But the Customs Agents/Broker is made the scapegoat. It is unfortunate
* Only recently, the federal government partially closed borders in the South South, South West, North East and North Central. Did the federal government engage your association and other stakeholders before coming up with the security measure?
I was told that the joint security operatives we saw are from the NSA and knowing how government works on issues of national security, the NSA would not necessarily inform anyone. So we were not informed and so it is difficult for us to understand.
* Could that be the reason why some Customs Clearing agents and traders took to the street to protest in Seme Border?
(Cuts in) When you suddenly close the border it certainly will affect people and naturally you don’t expect them to be happy. It