The Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Boniface Aniebonam has charged the five freight forwarding associations registered by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to boycott elections into the Governing Council of the CRFFN.
CRFFN is the regulatory body of freight forwarders in Nigeria.
The five associations recognised by CRFFN are the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN) and the Nigerian Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC).
During a chat with maritime journalists in Lagos on Monday, Aniebonam accused the Ministry of Transportation of plans to rig election into the CRFFN Governing Council in breach of the CRFFN Act.
“Transportation Ministry has not been adding value to CRFFN. I have said many times that CRFFN was not a parastatal of the Transport Ministry. And that matter is pending at the Court of Appeal up till today. Transport Ministry has been doing what they like as far as I am concerned. The purpose of CRFFN is not being met at all. One of the major essences of the council is to educate freight forwarders.
“The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Magdalene Ajani was at Eko Hotel last year for a stakeholders meeting to discuss the sharing formula. The decision was taken among the five registered freight forwarding associations on issues on the election. But unfortunately, the Ministry of Transportation stood to negate the sharing formula ahead of the election, which till today has not seen the light of the day. The other day, the Minister gave two weeks for the election to be conducted, but where are we now?
“Another thing, the Transport Ministry tends to be more interested in the individual contestants other than the registered associations of the council. What does that mean? And as you can see, the election has been rigged before the time. Here we have Increase Uche for instance, as the only sole candidate at the airport in Port Harcourt. That means, no contest.
“Here in Lagos, we have over 10 or 15 of them, and just like that. So, you have already rigged the election. This was how the maiden election was rigged. The implication was that people that have no knowledge about freight forwarding went and occupied the council.
“Even this election that is coming, I am wondering why the registered freight forwarding associations are still in the election. People must learn how to make sacrifices in order to protect the originality of an Act. This is because we have agreed on what we want. That is the essence of regulation and if the Transportation Ministry is saying something else, then we leave it to them.”
He asked the members of the registered freight forwarding associations to stage a protest at the National Assembly, Abuja, to “draw attention to these breaches by the Transportation Ministry”.
He also accused the CRFFN of failing in its duties and responsibilities to freight forwarders.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.