National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike has been honoured with the “Freight Forwarder of the Decade Award’ at the 2020 edition of the Shipping World Magazine Achievers Awards.
Nwabunike emergence for the award followed massive and overwhelming stakeholders’ votes against other nominees, which was in recognition of his versatility in the business of freight forwarding with over 27 years of cognac experience in Nigeria’s maritime industry.
While speaking with Journalists on the significance of the award to him, he noted that being crowned the most outstanding freight forwarder in the last 10 years was a huge honour to him, which he cherishes most among the scores of awards he has ever received in his shipping career spanning over 27 years.
He disclosed that this award would also spur him to continue to seek for ways to improve the lot of the freight forwarding practitioners and all the professionals in this sub-sect of the maritime industry, admitting that the industry is currently bedeviled by myriads of challenges and operational difficulties which must be addressed to enhance competitiveness.
“First of all, I want to thank all my friends in the media for finding time out of your busy schedules to grace the occasion. I must tell you here that of all the awards that I have received over time, I cherish being awarded Nigeria’s most outstanding freight forwarder in the last decade.
“This is because as Journalists, many of you that participated in the nomination and voting processes must have done proper homework and came to a conclusion to vote me for the honour I appreciate and covet it so much.
“Talking about challenges faced by the freight forwarding practitioners in Nigeria viz-a-viz the port industry, you know we are faced with problems of poor infrastructure, multiplicity of government agencies, imposition of value by officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, activities of the government agencies, challenges associated with government itself and even the shipping companies and terminal operators”, he said. Meanwhile, Publisher of the Shipping World Magazine, Elder Asu Beks, while delivering a welcome address at the event, urged the Federal Government to urgently address the myriad of challenges faced by the maritime industry, which he described as the imminent cash cow for the country given the uncertainties in the global oil market. The ANLCA President, who was also the pioneer chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN) is reputed to have improved on the operational standards of the Automated Systems for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) now the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System 9NICIS II), using his wealth of operational experience.
A graduate of Business Administration and Management from the Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Enugu, he also holds a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from the University of Lagos and several other certificates in Oil and Gas, Maritime, Hospitality and Logistics and Transports, among several others.