Members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) were yesterday barred by their leaders from attending a registered freight forwarders meeting spearheaded by former ANLCA President, Sir Ernest Elochukwu.
National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILYyesterday that he ordered the boycott of the meeting scheduled to hold at Tokyu Grand Hotel,Port Harcourt, Rivers State because it was “illegal”. “Members of ANLCA have been advised to stay away from the so-called meeting. We will not hesitate to sanction any of our members who fail to comply with this directive”, Shittu stated.
The ANLCA National President said the motive of the organisers of the meeting “was not in good faith.”
He said: “It is unfortunate that our former president got himself involved. Is it possible for a gathering to be called without the leadership of ANLCA being informed? Therefore it is illegal! They did it the first time we thought it was just a normal gathering. Though Jukwe was there, we didn’t bother because as the Registrar of CRFFN he can call meeting. But when we got text inviting our members to a gathering, the purpose for which we know is not in the interest of ANLCA, we cannot accept going there. So it is illegal as far as we are concerned. If a former president of ANLCA is involved and he respects the office of the president, the seat he once occupied and he doesn’t deem it fit to get the president involved in such an organisation; then his motive is questionable,” he said.
In the same vein, Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, directed the association’s Deputy National President, South-East zone, Eze Atu Mike Okechukwu, to ensure that no member of the association participated in the scheduled Port Harcourt meeting.
Aniebonam said the agenda of the meeting was questionable especially with the involvement of members of the former governing councils of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
When contacted, convener of the meeting and former National President of ANLCA, Sir Ernest Elochukwu, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that he was surprised at the boycott directives by the leading freight forwarding associations.
The former ANLCA president said that the meeting would hold despite the posture of the associations.
While admitting that he may not have informed the leaders of ANLCA and NAGAFF beforehand, Elochukwu said he convened the meeting in his capacity as Chairman of a stakeholders committee set up recently to revive the comatose Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding on Nigeria (CRFFN).
Despite the associations’ boycott orders, however, the meeting held as scheduled with former Chairman of the CRFFN Governing Council, Alhaji Hakeem Olanrewaju, and a few other notable freight forwarders in the Eastern and South-South part of the country in attendance.