…As Registered Associations Threaten to Cripple Port Activities If 18.104.22.168.1 Fails
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Fresh indications have emerged that the five registered freight forwarding associations under the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) are gathering momentum to ensure that the council is freed from the shackles of the Ministry of Transportation as a government agency.
By design, DAILY TREND NEWS learnt that the promulgators of the CRFFN never planned it to be a government agency, but to be a professional body regulating activities of freight forwarders.
Speaking exclusively with our correspondent at the weekend, one of the arrow-heads to the establishment of CRFFN, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam who is the founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) sensitization is ongoing for freight forwarders on the need to remove CRFFN from transport ministry.
“It is most unfortunate that we found ourselves under the supervision of the Transportation Ministry”
“The Ministry has a lot of parastatals under it, and they are struggling to add CRFFN to it, this is not even an agency of the government or a parastatal. For obvious reasons, the law of the land is in default and it is being administered with impunity.
“Definitely, we would go for the removal of CRFFN from Transportation Ministry, for now, we are sensitising people for them to know that if we do not leave the transport Ministry, we are going nowhere, especially now that money is involved, the issue of POF is a serious business, section 6 of the CRFFN Act tells us how to raise funds and administer the council, the POF falls under this purview”
“When you look at the volume of money involved, the attention of the government have been brought there”
“It is only the National Assembly that can intervene on this matter, recall that we are still in court over this issue, and we would take it up to the Supreme Court” Dr Aniebonam stated
The NAGAFF Founder argued that the CRFFN Registrar is an appointee of the council board which is administered by an elected member by the freight forwarders, being a core practitioner, hence, it cannot be subjected to government control.
Dr Aniebonam also spoke on the coming elections into the governing council of CRFFN which has generated a lot of controversies.
According to him, if the transportation ministry comes out with any election guidelines, different from the 22.214.171.124.1 sharing formula as agreed by the registered associations, the associations would pull out of the election and direct all members to withdraw their services from the port.
“The registered associations have come together under a Freight Forwarders Consultative Forum which is in line with regulation 3 to 10, and we have said that this is what we wanted, it is left for the Minister of Transportation to rely on section 5 of the Act and give direction”
“The CRFFN is a regulatory agency to control, the Minister do not need to talk to anybody on that. Why are they insisting on issue of individual participation in the elections, and yet you registered five associations which are platforms, yet you write to the freight forwarders through the associations, why don’t you write to freight forwarders individually”
“There are things the Ministry would say and we would withdraw from the elections”
“Some persons have threatened to go to court if 126.96.36.199.1 succeeds, anyone can go to court, that is not an issue”
“What I am saying now is that if the new guidelines comes out and it is not suitable for us, the five registered associations and their members would withdraw from the elections, we are just waiting to see what the Minister would say”
“We are not going to fight anybody, what we have is our freedom and liberty to say no, we would order all our members out of the port, we are employers of labour, and we can withdraw our services”