The APC government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari is known for such, appointing non-professional to oversee most of the governmental agencies. Virtually all appointments in Nigeria services today are lopsided, favouring a particular set of people close to the seat of power, for reasons best known to them.The first Governing Council Chairman of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN)was a customs broker. What then is behind the current imposition, appointing or manipulating the electioneering process that produced a non-professional as the council chairman? Was a trained customs broker, freight forwarder, technocrat or academician, not capable of transforming the council, taking it to enviable heights? The CRFFN was created by the act of the parliament to regulate professionals and not soldiers.In customs administration today, you will observe that the core customs jobs are carried out by career, seasoned officers with the CGC contributing little or nothing. Most times it is better and preferred to select a leader from the pool of qualified professionals, so that employees could progress through the established career paths and succession plan.This motivates prospective leaders.Without mincing words, appointing anon-professional as a board chairman is tantamount to corruption and misplacement of priority. What will Colonel Tsanni Abubakar contribute as the current Governing Council Chairman of CRFFN? He doesn’t have the technical know-how neither does he understand the ethics of this profession. He will not do much but over labour his deputy, Chief Henry Njoku, who is a technocrat.Though, there is no provision in the CRFFN Act that says that a non-freight forwarder cannot be elected as chairman,this regulatory body should be administered by a professional. Can a non-professional chair the board of the medical, judiciary, media, or engineering council? It is mostly administered by a chartered member or a professional. This current government is getting every appointment wrong; merit is no longer encouraged for succession planning in governmental organizations. Efficiency, effectiveness and hard work is now been replaced by redundancy, since employees can no longer reach the peak of their career.
I believe professionalism in the freight forwarding sub-sector of the maritime industry should be key. The imposition of a retired military officer as the CRFFN Chairman,is a departure from the norm. The method of electing the chairman and the vice of the council, as stipulated by the act is very clear and unambiguous. The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA),Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) etc and all other professional association are manned by their members, chosen according to the act establishing them. However, it is evident that the government has interest, otherwise why meddle into the affairs of a professional body? Some industry observers who never wanted this council to succeed will be gloating over this avoidable impasse.This is one of many problems plaguing the nation, where round pegs are put in square holes. Why appoint a non-professional as the chairman? Is it as a result of lack of qualified professional personnel? There are many persons who know their onions, that are on that council.There is absolutely no reason for such an appointment, rather the council members should have been allowed to elect their principal officers using the process provided by the act.
I would say is a good one though Tsanni Abubakar is not a practitioner but there is no part of the CRFFN Act that stipulates that only elected freight forwarders can occupy the position of the Governing Board Chairman.It does not count whether the person who emerges as chairman, is a professional freight forwarder or not. I will urge the newly inaugurated members of the board to focus on achieving the core mandate of the council by professionalizing the freight forwarding practice.The Chairman is supposed to be elected among the members of the board of which I am one, but the mode of election is what is questionable. I understand that the Minister made all the elected members chose him not that he was duly elected. His role as chairman does not count more than other members who are there and supposed to be professionals. The law did not say that anybody who is a freight forwarder should be the chairman alone. It only says that out of the governing council members, they should elect one person as chairman. It did not specify who they should elect because all of them are qualified as members of the board of the council. Any one of them can emerge as the chairman. For me, the most important thing is that they should work together and ensure that they bring freight forwarding practice to the next level.
I do not buy the idea that someone who is not a freight forwarder is made the CRFFN Chairman. I am not happy about it, though there is nothing that can be done. The man is a non-practitioner and does not know about freight forwarding. I wonder how he want to run the affairs of the council; there is more to his appointment. This is lack of professionalism and I hope the Minister of Transportation does not regret his action.
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