By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON)
has petitioned the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo over what it described as corruption and fraudulent activities going on in the
Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
In a petition with reference numbers; APFFLON/HQ/FMT/Vol:2.22, dated 9th of September 2022 and signed by President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, the association specifically accused the CRFFN Registrar, Barr Samuel Nwakohu of fraud and demanded investigation into his activities at the council.
He said that even though the CRFFN Act recognizes three categories of membership; associations,
corporate bodies and individuals, officials of the Transport Ministry and the CRFFN have over the years, only recognized, visited and engaged CRFFN so called registered associations without any provision for individual members and corporate bodies.
“It has become
worrisome that all CRFFN functions and programs have seen the Council only invite freight
forwarding associations, hence, leaving individuals and companies out of the crucial
deliberations that affect all categories of membership”
The APFFLON President raised alarm that presently, the CRFFN have started sharing the proceeds of the Practitioners Operations Fee (POF) with only five registered associations at the rate of N200,000, thereby leaving out the individuals and corporate organizations.
The associations benefiting according to him are; Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Association
of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Association of Registered Freight
Forwarders (AREFFN), Nigerian Airfreight Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC),
National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA).
While pointing out that these five associations represents less than 40 percent of the entire freight forwarders in the country, “It should be noted that the said POF is paid by individuals and companies, yet there is no platform for these categories of legitimate CRFFN registered individuals and corporate bodies to benefit from the POF that the CRFFN has been sharing among the monopolistic associations parading themselves as registered associations.
“This continuous marginalization of CRFFN registered individual and corporate members is
stoking a high degree of dissent that could evolve into a protest against CRFFN in the nearest
future, even as it is a grossly illegal act that would soon land the agency in litany of litigations.
Speaking on the alleged misappropriation by the CRFFN’s Registrar, Otunba Ogunojemite recalled that in June 2021, the Ministry of Transportation had launched an investigations on the
numerous atrocities allegedly perpetuated by the Registrar of CRFFN, but the industry
stakeholders, especially freight forwarders, are still waiting for the outcome of the findings of
According to him “The Registrar was alleged of employing thirteen (13) ghost workers, seized workers allowances in excess of N15million and other financial misappropriation.
“He was said to have single handedly organized a fake training for selected CRFFN officials that cost N109million.
“Furthermore, aggrieved members of staff of the Council revealed all these in a petition sent to
the Chairman of the Governing Council of CRFFN and the Ministry of Transportation, as they
accused the CRFFN’s Registrar of several financial misappropriations and discrimination against
“The petition document dated August 20th, 2020 was signed by CRFFN top management staff
including; the Deputy Director, Finance and Accounts, Dr. Abah George; Head of Internal
Audit, Mr. Agor Gideon; Head of Research and Development, Mr. Leo Anigbo; Head of
Administration/ Human Resources, Mr. Ben Ojumah; and the Head of Corporate Affairs, Mrs.
“Following the top issues of serious illegalities raised in the petition, the Transportation Ministry
interrogated the CRFFN Registrar and the maritime public demand that the findings of the
Transport Ministry be publicized because we are aware that Mr. Muhiy-deen Awwal, Director,
Human Resources Management, Ministry of Transportation headed a Committee that concluded a report on this matter.
“It came to our notice that the Registrar was found guilty but exonerated on account of his
closeness to the former Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.
“However, we do expect that as a crusader of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration of transparency and accountability, we have confidence that you will use your office good to reveal the findings and take appropriate actions on this matter”
The APFFLON President also said that all five CRFFN self-acclaimed
accredited associations have violated the express provision of the CRFFN Act under Section 11(5) (d) and (6) (a-b) which stipulates
that any associations that failed to pay their annual subscriptions for a period of six months should be deregistered.
He said the associations have refused to pay their annual subscriptions for over six years.
The implication of this is that there is no compliant accredited association of freight forwarders with CRFFN currently.
“Going by the CRFFN Act,
all the acclaimed accredited associations ought to have been deregistered in compliance to the
above mentioned CRFFN Act and its Regulation, as they have failed to live up-to the
expectation of the law.
“However, due to the illegalities that has eroded the Council activities and the corruptive
marriage alliance between the Council’s Registrar and the said associations. These self acclaimed “accredited associations” are still parading themselves as accredited members of the
“It is also regrettable, sad and shocking that these associations which have failed to live up to
the express stipulations of the law by their failure to pay their subscriptions fees to CRFFN
have begun receiving N200,000.00 monthly stipends from CRFFN as part of Practitioners
Operating Fees (POF).
“While the Council ought to have deregistered these associations to demonstrate the Council
willingness to enforce the provision of the Act and Council’s regulations. It is quite unfortunate
that the CRFFN Governing Board, which ought to reprimand, sanction the offenders and uphold the rule of law in the industry has failed to live up to its mandate and abandoned its regulatory and supervisory role on freight forwarding business over the years.
“Perhaps, this is because majority of the Governing Board members are sponsored candidates of these
fraudulent associations who have been using them to bankrolling their illegalities.
“It is an open secret that the leadership of these associations in cahoots with the Council’s
Registrar has sabotage the accreditation of many competent associations like APFFLON who
are willing to contribute to the progress of the industry. It also worthy to note that, APFFLON
immediately after its incorporation applied to the Council for accreditation since 21st May 2019
(Proof attached), however, its accreditation was sabotage by the combine evil marriage
between the Council’s Registrar and the leadership of the above-mentioned association in
order to protect their selfish interest.
Otunba Ogunojemite craved indulgence of the Minister to look
into all the issues raised and ensure that sanity is restored in the Council and bring to
book all the saboteur of the good cause of the Council.