Honorable Iju Tony Nwanunike,. National President , Association of Nigeria License Customs Agent ( ANLCA) has sent a goodwill messages to all Muslim brothers and sisters, especially those in the maritime industry on the occasion of the celebration of ,2021 , Eid- El -Fitri, which marks the end of thirty days Ramadan fasting.
In his goodwill message sent to the media, he specially prayed that Almighty Allah accept all their acts of worship and piety.
In his words, “I specially salute your selflessness, self denial and commitment in praying for our great country at this trying period of economic and security challenges, which I know, together we shall overcome”
Speaking on state of National economy and maritime industry, Nwabunike said “As the second highest revenue earner, Nigeria’s maritime industry is the nation’s economic low hanging fruits capable of cushioning the temporary effect of reduced oil revenue.
‘This year’s fasting and Eid- El -Fitri celebration are instructive , coming at a time the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had declared that it would deduct N112 billion from oil and gas proceeds for April to ensure continuous supply of petroleum products to the country and guarantee energy security.
“Implications includes not having oil revenue for the federal government to share with the states and local governments
“This situation is premised on the hike in crude oil prices on the deregulated downstream sector and the need for uninterrupted supply of petroleum products to citizens
“Aside the economy, activities in our maritime industry also calls for increased security attention which the federal government (through NIMASA) is rising to the occasion with planned deployment of deep blue assets later this month.
“It is anticipated that this move will go a long way in fighting piracy and other maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea and our country’s territorial waters.
‘Safety of vessels, cargoes and crews on our waters have direct impacts on our overall economy since the maritime sector is critical for us in the areas of trade, investment, employment and recreation” he said.
The association leader further said that development of maritime potentials will be a bold step towards economic diversification for job creation, addressing insecurity and positioning the ports for hub status in the West and Central African regions.
He added that while government is consciously trying to address the Apapa gridlock, an emergency be declared to expedite the ongoing road construction works which could come in form of 24 hours work by construction workers especially when the rains subside.
Hinting that any stop gap solution to Apapa traffic is bound to suffer setback of either extortion or other forms of sabotage until the roads are fully constructed for seamless access to the ports either through Apapa Oshodi Expressway or Apapa Ijora axis.
He also implore that the Portharcourt to Eleme axis of the East West road and the adjoining portion leading to Onne Port, where you have a beehive of maritime activities, be attended to in good time for the collective benefits of government and port users.
He however advised the muslin brothers and sisters who are adherents of the Islamic faith, that whatever ungodly thing they have abstained from during the holy month of Ramadan, should not be returned to them after fasting.