Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has advised the Minister of Transport against administering the affairs of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) without the mandate of the Council’s registered members.
In his letter to the Minister, dated 4th January, 2013, and titled THE MATTER OF WOBBLING AND FUMBLING CRFFN ADMINISTRATION – THE ROAD MAP TO SUCCESS AS IT STANDS, Aniebonam warned that administering CRFFN without consulting its registered members will amount to a breach of the Council`s Act.
“We believe the CRFFN was domiciled in the Transport Ministry in order to give it impetus and necessary protection to meet the desired interest of its establishment. However, recent happenings in the Council suggest that you seem to see the Council as a parasatal of the Transport Ministry, whereas the CRFFN Act has told us that membership of the Council does not confer status of public servant on the elected members of the Council.
“The power of the Minister to give direction and character to the Council is not absolute. Section 5 of the Act when read together with the rest of the Act makes it very clear the intendment of the Act as to the premium it places on consultations since it recognizes the Freight Forwarders Consultative Forum and the Congress. Therefore to act unilaterally may be in breach of the Act that requires partnership and due consultation with the registered members,” he stated.
Aniebonam said that the there are three categories of registered members that form the register of freight forwarders: the individual, corporate and registered associations, stating that “these three groups of private members are the real owners of the CRFFN and to administer the Council without their mandate or input is in breach of the Act.”
The NAGAFF Founder urged the Transport Minister to run and manage an inclusive Council with a view to achieving its set objectives.
Aniebonam also advised the Minister that, while constituting the new interim Governing Council members, he should “draw representatives in consultation with critical stakeholders of the three categories of registered members and few from government agencies like NIMASA, MAN Oron and NIWA to form the steering Council with a mandate to organize sustainable election.”
Further advised the Minister to involve external consultants to help bring the Council right on track, suggesting the likes of Mrs. Mfon Usoro, Mallam Galtima Liman and Chief Chris Asoluka, who, he noted, were “among those that consulted for the National Assembly during the process that led to the enactment of the CRFFN Act.
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