By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Boniface Aniebonam yesterday could not hide his anger over the absence of the Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar at the 20th year celebration of the association in Lagos.
The 1-week long celebration was concluded yesterday with an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and lecture held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac Town, Lagos.
Our correspondent at the event noted the disturbing absence of a single officer of Nigeria Customs Service from the headquarters, zonal or even at the command level.
The celebration was also lacking adequate representation from other key government agencies at Nigerian ports.
A member of the CRFFN governing board informed DAILY TREND NEWS however that the CRFFN Chairman had gotten the date of the NAGAFF celebration mixed up.
“He thought the celebration was fixed for Wednesday, instead of Tuesday, the Chairman is still in Daura Katsina State where he went with President Buhari to commission the Transport University” the source said
While addressing the crowd at the event however, Aniebonam said it was wrong for the CRFFN Chairman to have sent a representation to the event, adding that NAGAFF is too big an organization for Tsanni Abubakar to send representation.
Aniebonam was however silent about the absence of the Customs at the event.
The CRFFN Chairman was represented by Chief Austen Kelly, a member of CRFFN governing council and long time friend of Aniebonam.
A furious Aniebonam said “Look at the picture of the CRFFN Chairman, is he here? NAGAFF is too big for him to send a representation, go and tell him. I can understand that of the Minister of Transportation, when they brought that information to me, I told them to remove his name”
“The person he sent here is my personal friend, I grew up with him and he has the capacity to be at the high table, he is even a member of the Council”
The NAGAFF Founder also used the opportunity to clear the air on the status of the CRFFN, saying that tagging the Council as an agency of the federal government is abnormal and against the law establishing the Council’s Act.
He admitted that the last election conducted into the Council last year was a “Kangaroo election”
On the status of the Council, he said “The matter is at the appeal court, and I will ensure that we get it to the supreme court that CRFFN is not an agency of the government”
“Government composition is supposed to be found in the Council representing their agencies, the Chairman of the Council, the Vice, down the line must be elected from the register of freight forwarders, but today, they have done a kangaroo election”
“But the good news is that six members of NAGAFF are there, those who think they would continue will not, because the NAGAFF I have trained are more deadly and determined than myself”
“I charge you all to remain on the part of the law, restrict yourself to the rule of law and you will be fearless. Go and acquire knowledge and skill, it is your knowledge that can complete this movement”