By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even though the crisis rocking the biggest freight forwarding association in Nigeria; Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has lingered for two years, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has failed to intervene and ensure that peace reigns.
The aloofness of the regulatory Council has got stakeholders wondering if the CRFFN is only interested in milking Nigerian freight forwarders under the guise of Practisioners Operations Fee (POF) collection.
Recall that ANLCA was engulfed with leadership crisis which started among the Board of Trustees (BOT).
Two gladiators; Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and Chief Henry Njoku were fighting over who should be Chairman of the BOT.
This crisis has polarised the 62-years old association, while some members, mostly from the Western Zone supports Taiwo Mustapha, majority of the Eastern zone queued up behind Njoku.
The crisis had on Tuesday culminated into some hoodlums attacking the ANLCA National Secretariat, destroying properties and burning sensitive documents. About 10 of them were later apprehended.
Registrar of CRFFN, Barr Mike Nwakohu reportedly told journalists in Lagos on Wednesday that the Council was not invited to intervene into the ANLCA crisis, even as he confirmed that they are very much aware of the situation.
Nwakohu however said the Council is going ahead,notwithstanding the ANLCA crisis, to collect the POF at the port.
In a position paper sent to DAILY TREND NEWS by the former President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr Eugene Nweke on Wednesday, he noted that, for the avoidable administrative crisis in ANLCA to have lasted to this point without any form of external intervention from the CRFFN, it shows a huge administrative limitation.
He said the lackadaisical stance of CRFFN has displayed its inadequate supervisory measures and lack of internal reconciliatory mechanism in place.
As a result of CRFFN failures, Nweke said this has casted a serious professional regulatory authority oversight on all freight forwarders as professionals and that proffering solutions to ANLCA crisis should not be left in the hands of the CRFFN Governing Council members alone.
He said “At this point, the essence of accrediting ANLCA as Professional Freight Forwarding Association, which hitherto signed an oath of allegiance to the CRFFN comes to the fore, mostly so, in the face of professional bestowment on Associations leadership to consciously exhibit, professional norms, transparency, accountability and tranquility at all times”
“The CRFFN having been interpreted as an agency of the FMOT, like other agencies under the FMOT, I seriously doubt, if the Board of other agencies, will fold their hands , watch and allow internal crisis within their extended management executives to degenerate to the present state as it is with ANLCA”
“ANLCA is a registered professional accredited Association made up of freight forwarding practitioners , as such, there should be a limit to every excesses. It is on this note, of the reported incidence of yesterday at the ANLCA Secretariat that, I wish to dispassionately urge the Governing Council leadership to step up its oversight functions and nip this revolving leadership quagmire in ANLCA in the bud”
“Let’s take a cue from other professionals, ours is not different, and The time to act, is now”
“Without mincing words, the ANLCA leadership brouhaha has opened up a new fiesta of internal regulatory shortcomings, there is the need for a review of extant regulations” Eugene said
The former NAGAFF President stressed the need for a general spiritual cleansing in ANLCA, as well as individual purging, saying that the crisis in the association is not ordinary.
“I will end this version of sermon by emphasizing that, if leaders and followers adjust and make a U-turn to seek God’s intervention over this present seeming darkness, and opt for forgiveness as a watch word, l am strongly sure, that the peace of God must calm all warring minds and sooth every pained hearts”
“I encourage all to collectively put their hands in the hand of God like little children, then refrain from all forms of scripted evil plans and vices ( including all forms of calumnies, protests, solidarity show, etc), against each other, but rather, allow God to lead you all out into the bright sunshine of His love”
“God knows, the way out of the woods. May you all find it worthy to climb up into God’s arms, and trust Him to take you and the Association out of this lingering darkness to the shortest and surest road” he said