The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has threatened to withdraw its membership of the Maritime Advocacy Action Group (MAAG) if the group continues to take strategic decisions without seeking the contributions of its member associations.
MAAG is a new advocacy group with freight forwarding associations, truck owners associations, and logistics service providers among other trade organizations as members. It was established last year to serve as a unified platform where stakeholders come together to discuss policy and operational issues and proffer solutions for the benefit of the nation’s maritime industry.
But the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, while addressing journalists yesterday at the NAGAFF Headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, expressed dissatisfaction with the advocacy group alleging that it may have abused the ideals on which it was established.
He said that the group went contrary to expectation by taking a position on the new automotive policy without the input of the associations it represents.
He said: “We do hope that the organization will play the role that is expected of it. We also do hope that it is not meant to do something that is to the contrary. My concern now and the concern of NAGAFF that I founded is that of this advocacy group I expect that when there is a major policy direction whatever discussion they hold there the representatives of the various associations should take that back to their organizations for them to get the position of each organization because your coming together does not in any way impugn on the liberty or authority or the existence of any organization like NAGAFF.”
Aniebonam said that even though the various associations have delegated representatives to sit on the group and discuss salient issues, the representatives do not take positions on the issues on behalf of the associations.
“It came to my knowledge that certain documents went to the National Assembly protesting against the policy direction as far as auto matters are concerned. I was not very comfortable with that because the document they are talking about is not known to us.
“What I am saying is that if there is a policy direction on the part of the executives and they want to write a position paper in that regard that will be binding on the critical elements that came voluntarily, such documents should be directed to the executives that is what I consider as a responsible partnership but where you have an issue which is that of the executives and you are sending it to the National Assembly then you are being confrontational and NAGAFF will not want to participate in matters of that nature.
“If there is a policy direction that policy direction must be talked about in the various associations for the representatives to go back with the position of their organizations,” he said.
The NAGAFF founder said that he has no doubts about the good intentions of the group but warned the group not to repeat the mistake of taking decisions without duly consulting its member associations else “NAGAFF will pull out.”
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