Front line maritime resource person and notable freight forwarder, Fwdr, Dr. Eugene Nweke, Ksm. Rff. Has appealed to the leaders and elders of the Association of Nigeria Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA), , present and past to eschew bitterness and rancor and allow God lead the affairs of the association as He see fit.
The former National President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) in an epistle titled MY SERMON ON ANLCA traced the lingering crisis in the association to personal ego and the unwillingness of members and leaders to allow God take preeminence. He warned that unless all aggrieved members submit to God’s Will, peace may continue to elude the once vibrant leading freight forwarding group.
Nweke also took a swipe at the lukewarm attitude of the leadership and members of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) by remaining aloof while the ANLCA crisis fester. He said CRFFN posture is an indication of regulatory failure, and urge the agency to swiftly rise to the occasion.
Nweke in his Episcopal submission built on the title “The Storm Is a Pointer to Morrow’s Summer” with a sub-title ‘The Parable of Unseen Hands In Leadership’, laced with Biblical passages and expostulations demanded total submission to the Will of God in all circumstances, and reasoned that God has a way of turning the tide in men’s favour. Taking the parable of a Comfortable Plant, he said:
“I want to commence the Sermon by sharing a vision I had about ANLCA in a likened order of the Parable of a Comfortable Plant, which goes thus: There is a little plant, small and stunted, growing under the shade of a broad spreading oak; and this little plant values the shade which covers it, and greatly does it esteem the quiet rest which its noble friend affords. But a blessing is designed for this little plant. So, on a fateful day, there came the woodman, and with his sharp axe, felled the oak tree. The plant wept and cried saying, “My shelter is departed, now every rough wind will blow upon me and every storm will seek to uproot me!!”.
“But from the blues appears the Plants guardian Angel, uttering: “No!!, no!!!, now will the sun get at thee; now will the shower fall on thee in more copious abundance than before; now thy stunted form shall spring up into loveliness, and thy flower, which could never have expanded itself to perfection shall now laugh in the sunshine, and men shall say, “How greatly hath that plant increased!! How glorious bath become its beauty, through the removal of that which was its shade and its delight!!”
With the parable laid bare as guide to the warring ANLCA family, he appealed to the leaders to stop the drift and mend fence. He said, “ I will come back to enunciate on this parable, meanwhile, urging the past, present and future leaders, especially the Board of Trustees to have a rethink and deeply reflect on this parable.
“I do not pray that God takes away your comforts and your privileges in other to make you a proactive and better leader, to be there for ANLCA and for whatever it represents to all of you as professionals.”
‘Sermon on ANLCA’, I shall dwell on the Book of Isaiah’ chapter 50:10 to speak with the tune of a peaceful preacher, hence, the verse 10 reads: “Who is among you that feareth Jehovah, that obeyeth the voice of his servant?. He that walketh in darkness and hath no light, let him trust in the name of Jehovah and rely upon his God”.
Waxing spiritual, Nweke ask and provided part answer to some of his questions, otherwise apparently posed as rhetorical question:
“Is there darkness in the ANLCA family? Obviously, there is darkness of perplexities and confusion, which is not of the heart but of the minds of members of this once enviable family.
“Could it be said that, the ANLCA all through this decades has not produced a true believing and a faithful disciple (of either Christian or Muslim background),who obediently walks in the will of God, to aide in spiritual guidance, to show leadership the way to turn to and what to do per season?”
He likened the present drift in ANLCA to lack of true leaders, “Possibly, the lack of true disciples may be the reason why all seems to be groping their ways in darkness, with seeming care freeness.” With a firm severity of the preacher, he made some more declarations and posed further apostolic question, “ Now that it is obvious that there is a prevailing darkness, what should the leaders and followers do, amidst a seemingly non faithful disciples?
Again, he proffered apostolic answers: “Simply, leadership should turn back to God, trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon God. Under the present circumstances, it is for the entire leaders to do nothing, but to sincerely take to heart the vanity of life. As such, all must admit that in one way or the other, you have all erred, and hence, collectively lost leadership focus inspired by the Almighty God.
“Though, it is impossible for poor human nature to believe it can do nothing under the present circumstances. I am not saying that, non can do nothing per say, but to state that “When you’re rattled, don’t rush to take actions!”, in other words, when you don’t know what hit you, nor what to do, don’t do anything for doing sake, else you compound your problems.”
With firm resolve of a true apostolic and unremitting severity, he declared in the most frightful tones: “I am compelled to state that, ANLCA has run into a spiritual fog bank, it doesn’t need to continue tearing ahead. It is time to slow down the machinery of its life, where possible, it may need to anchor its bark or allow its swing rest on its moorings.
“At this point, I may not be too far from the obvious fact, that the minds of its leaders and followers are distracted and their hearts distressed. Darkness has stepped in leaving a striking leadership delusion on all.
“Running hither and thither is a vain effort, because in the moment of corporate dark place of trial, the wisest escape route is self purging first, followed by collective purging, then turning back to embrace what divine providence has availed for us.”
“At this point, the essence of accrediting ANLCA as Professional Freight Forwarding Association, which hitherto signed an oath of allegiance to the CRFFN comes to the fore, mostly so, in the face of professional bestowment on Associations leadership to consciously exhibit, professional norms, transparency, accountability and tranquility at all times.”
In equal severity, Nweke reprimanded CRFFN for also failing in its other most basic regulatory functions, such as ensuring that none of its council members is left to engage in squabbles that should lead to the death of such member.
“ Before ending this Sermon on ANLCA, I make bold to state that, for this avoidable administrative crisis in association to have lasted to this point without any form of external intervention from the CRFFN, is a huge administrative limitations, an expose of inadequate supervisory measures or internal reconciliatory mechanism in place, thereby, casting a serious professional regulatory authority oversight questions on all of us as professionals and not limited to the Governing Council, members.
“The CRFFN having been interpreted as an agency of the FMOT, like other agencies under the FMOT, I seriously doubt, if the Board of other agencies, will fold their hands , watch and allow internal crisis within their extended management executives to degenerate to the present state as it is with ANLCA
“ANLCA is a registered professional accredited Association made up of freight forwarding practitioners , as such, there should be a limit to every excesses. It is on this note, of the reported incidence of yesterday at the ANLCA Secretariat that, I wish to dispassionately urge the Governing Council leadership to step up its oversight functions and nip this revolving leadership quagmire in ANLCA in the bud. Let’s take a cue from other professionals, ours is not different, and the time to act, is now.”
He also advocated for the review of CRFFN extant rules.
“Without mincing words, the ANLCA leadership brouhaha has opened up a new fiesta of internal regulatory shortcomings; there is the need for a review of extant regulations.”