The National President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike, has called on stakeholders in the Maritime Industry to express love and forgiveness to one another as they go about their professional duties, ensuring that peace and harmony are enthroned among them.
Nwabunike who made this call over the weekend in his Easter goodwill message to his colleagues in the Industry, said the occasion of Easter celebration is a time to jointly reminisce on the import and significance of the celebration relating it to the Industry and larger society.
He noted that the Easter message appealed to all mankind irrespective of religion, race and other differences which add to the plurality and beauty of the entire human existence.
The selflessness of Jesus Christ, showing love and commitment to all by making the supreme sacrifice without expecting reward in return while also seeking forgiveness for his persecutors , even at the point of death are indeed instructive.
Nwabunike explained that the betrayal by Judas Iscariot for wealth purpose and the inglorious way he (Judas) ended also symbolised that treachery or any form of betrayal may only look beneficial in the interim but the end is sadness and regret.
He therefore urged Maritime stakeholders to at this time reflect on the very strong virtues Easter celebration comes with.
He said: “Let’s increase the love for ourselves and our great Country Nigeria.
“Forgiveness should be freely extended amongst ourselves without being judgmental. For those of us who observed the 40 days fasting that precedes Easter, it’s time to resolve not to go back to anything ungodly.
“Actions that exemplify compliance to rules like honest declarations, payment of right duty demonstrated by Jesus in tax remittance when he talked about giving to Caeser what belongs to Caeser shouldn’t depart from us.
“I enjoin importers and agents to always pay their taxes either in the form of import duty or otherwise. It is in following in the footsteps of Jesus.
He pointed out that sincere declarations and being law abiding will not only give the declarant and agents peace of mind it is also a way of contributing to national economic growth for common good.
Nwabunike urged that importers and international traders should avoid bringing things that hurt the health of consumers or inflame society such as hard drugs, arms, ammunition and unwholesome or expired consumables.
“If we are sincere, laudable initiatives like the electronic call up system will be implemented with ease without the observed hiccups in its implementation
He quoted National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate which Increased to 33.3 per cent in last quarter 2020 from 27.1 per cent in second quarter of last year.
Noting that that the statistics is not irreversible, the ANLCA President posited that more productive employment can be generated under an atmosphere of increased compliance.
According to him, the number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of last quarter 2020 was 122,049,400 out of an estimated population of over 200 million persons.
“The Maritime Industry still holds the ace for supporting other economic activities and as participants in this sensitive Sector, let us rise to be counted among those who improved our economy in our time,” he urged further.
Nwabunike however, pointed out that many are active but truly not productively engaged due to possible factors like greed causing fewer persons to hold grip on common wealth while active workers are mostly underpaid.
He reiterated his message of forgiveness to all who offended him in his course of carrying out professional activities.
His words: “Like I reiterated in my New Year message, I have forgiven those who hurt me in the course of my being of service to professional colleagues. For me it is the best way to celebrate this season of love, sacrifice and soul searching reflections.
“Jesus has given us examples to emulate this season and always. May God’s love and blessings reign in our lives, families, careers and associations now and always.
“The resurrection power God manifested in Jesus is truly a symbol of hope that things can get better than they were yesterday and opportunities in our future are limitless.
“Let’s make sacrifices for common good, be forgiving, avoid greed, run away from act of betrayal and shun lust for earthly wealth at the detriment of common good.”