By DAPO OLAWUNI
There are indications that some powerful forces within the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) are afraid of the independent candidacy of Chief Eugene Nweke and Increase Uche, former President and immediate past president of NAGAFF.
These two individuals, highly professional, have insisted that the 2021 CRFFN election must be conducted based on a level playing field for aspiring freight forwarders, not for the registered associations hijacking the process by sending their stooges without any knowledge, to seat on the Council.
The freight forwarding associations on the other hand are trying to make a repeat of the “selection” process that took place in 2018, where the positions on the governing council were shared among associations on a 188.8.131.52.1 basis.
For daring to oppose the decision of NAGAFF based on the 184.108.40.206.1, the association last week sacked its President, Increase Uche and subsequently annointed one Chief Tochukwu Ezisi as the new NAGAFF President.
In a petition to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi at the weekend, signed by one of the independent contestants; Chukwuemeka Godfrey Nwosu onbehalf of the Concerned Independent Contestants, the group argued that associations cannot stand for elections into the CRFFN, it is only individuals whose names are registered with CRFFN that can stand for election.
According to the group, it is an abberation for freight forwarding associations to determine who qualifies to run for CRFFN elections, even when the associations have failed to pay their subscription and financing obligations to the council in past 10 years.
“Honorable Minister, permits us, to set the records straight, sir, for all intents, character and regulatory purposes, the Act 16, 2007 does not organize nor recognizes the accreditated associations as party to contest or vote in any CRFFN Governiing Council Election.
“The Act does not mince words by its choice of explanation in stating that an election shall be “organize for 15 registered freight forwarders, whose names are registered in the Register of freight forwarders in Nigeria, and not for the freight forwarding accreditated associations with the CRFFN” the group stated.
The group also revealed that there are more than 20 freight forwarding associations existing in the industry, but CRFFN has refused to open up the window for their accreditation.
According to the group, there is also “a passed Regulation by the formal Governing Council, waiting for the official with the legislature since 2012, the Regulations is to give birth to the FEDERATION OF NIGERIA FREIGHT FORWARDERS’ ASSOCIATION. The essence is that, upon the rebirth of this federation it will be the single mouth piece or voice of the freight forwarders in Nigeria, this is in addition to prepare to take its appropriate place and status with the FIATA thereby replacing the CRFFN registration with the FIATA which was done on temporary basis”
“The Federation is all inclusive, but the last Governing Council dominated by the stooges of the industry political parties ignored this goal, just to ensure that other Associations don’t smell accreditation of the CRFFN.
“Presently, there exists in the freight forwarding sub-sector of the maritime industry, not less than 20 different freight forwarding related Associations and groupings all duly registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission”
“The CRFFN can only register individual practicing freight forwarders as Practitioners and not freight forwarding Association. Reason for the choice words : “accreditated freight forwarding associations” is obvious in this regards.
“This so-called Political parties masquerading as registered associations with CRFFN, devised a political arithmetic Coded 6:6:1:1:1 for the purpose of rigging the CRFFN Governiing Council Election 2021.
“Honorable Minister, it
is an irony these industry Political leaders are vehemently turning a professionally driven arena into a political theatre even doing so with impunity. The need to wield Professional hammer to instil professional discipline promptly can not be over emphasize.
“In furtherance to the actualization of their political arithmetic coded 6:6:1:1: the parties brought their nightmares to the fore , when it noted that; ” And for the records it is important that we inform the Hon. minister of Transportation that all of the so called individual contestants are members of nagaff. Dr Eugene Nweke and Dr Increase Uche for instance are former and seating president of nagaff respectively. Both of them have been members of the council board”.
“The truth is that, they are merely afraid of this individuals Professional disposition in the industry, especially in their insistence to evolve and sustain Professionalism in the freight forwarding profession other than ambushing and tactically resisting every regulatory policy that will checkmate the excesses of Accredited associations especially in their current posture of hyping and parading themselves as above regulatory subjection. Funny enough, 85% of stooges being fronted in this political arithmetic are all seeking for a reelection into the Governing Council, so who is fooling who” it stated
The group urged the Minister to ignore the unjustified rantings by the leaders of the associations who defaults in their Accreditation and annual subscription fees to CRFFN.
It urged the Minister to be decisive and stay resolute in adherence to the provisions of the Act 16 2007.