By Daniel Gumm
A NEW wind is blowing across Licensed Customs Agents in the Nigerian ports. The arrow head is Mr. Lucky Amiwero, the National President of Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (CMDLCA). Amiwero, who described licensed customs agents as cargo surgeons, said his passion is to train all licensed customs agents involved in the maritime industry to be able to actually facilitate international trade.
He spoke at the graduation ceremony of Licensed Customs Agents on Free Computer Programme in Lagos. The CMDLCA boss said “the graduation is a landmark achievement which was born out of the paasion to empower the licensed customs agents by building capacity in all aspect of their profession, in view of the recently introduced e-payment and e-remittance in trade facilitation process.”
The training, according to him, is free to all customs agents. He explained that licensed customs agents are involved in the interpretation and classification of cargoes and treat goods because “we are called cargo surgeons. We believe this is our own aspect of building capacity in the maritime industry and international trade industry.”
He pointed out that with the “men graduating today, there is going to be a marked difference in the maritime industry. We are going to continue to do our best to bring out the best so that we can assist the government in facilitating trade. We will assist government in trying to make things work out so at the end of the day, we will have a better organised port system,” he said.
Amiwero, who said that the problem “is that when you look at the maritime sector, there is a drought of capacity building concept, what you have is politics, etc also noted that over the years, “we are moving into the sea faring sector without looking at the tools for the sector. Our procedure is still laced with one thing or the other.”
According to him, without capacity building, you cannot really develop your industry. “All over the world capacity building takes a chunk of the funding because capacity building transforms both the structure of an institution and the personnel of that institution and make the person a better person.
“The people who have been trained today, are not going to be the same people you see six weeks back. They have now been transformed. Workshops and seminars are not capacity building. Capacity buildings are technical materials that transform lives and make you a better person for you to be able to apply your tools effectively and enhance what you are doing.
“Customs agents are not transporters, but we are international trade experts. We are cargo surgeons, and what we do as licensed customs agents is that we classify, we interpret, and we treat cargoes.”