By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even as the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) draws near to conducting elections into its National Executive Committee (NECOM) members of the association have kicked against certain requirements pushed forward by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN)
DAILY TREND published exclusively on Thursday that CRFFN had in a letter to the Acting National President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto insisted that contestants in the coming elections, especially positions of National President and National Secretary, must posses an Ordinary Diploma or Higher Diploma in freight forwarding at any of the institutions approved by the Council.
Earlier, the Chairman of CRFFN, Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar while inaugurating the Association Electoral Committee (ASECO) a body saddled with responsibility of conducting elections in ANLCA, warned that any member who wishes to vote and be voted for in the coming election must be registered with CRFFN and must be up to date in their financial subscriptions.
However, members of ANLCA has accused CRFFN of being meddlesome in affairs of the association, even as they urged the Council to allow the BOT conduct the election in peace, following guidelines set by ASECO
Recall that the CRFFN as a freight forwarders regulator recently resolved the five years old leadership crisis that had bedeviled ANLCA over the battle for the soul of the Board of Trustees (BOT).
The action by CRFFN had since drew a lot of commendation across the maritime industry.
However, some members of ANLCA who have spoken with DAILY TREND, pleaded anonymity for fear of being misconstrued as threatening the fragile peace recently achieved in the association.
The members accused CRFFN of bias, and for taking advantage of the ANLCA crisis, and that the Council was playing the script of some members of the CRFFN board who are equally ANLCA members and they have strong stakes and interests in the coming election.
One of them suggested that elections is not the recipe for permanent peace in ANLCA at this time. He said that the same political solution that was adopted in constituting the present Board of Trustees (BOT) and the ASECO should be adopted in selecting National and Chapter executives across board.
“Tsanni at a recent meeting with the BOT asked that they should put apart everything and let us resolve this crisis with political solution.
Now that we have agreed, some persons that sat down in Owerri to appointed themselves as board members, Tsanni asked that they should join the authentic registered board, just like that.
In the interest of peace, we accepted.
“When it got to the selection of ASECO, we also compromised that in the interest of peace, both sides should nominate people
“However, now that it is time for NECOM positions, why can’t we use the same political solution and compromise to select the leaders? When it gets to chapter level, the same political solution should be adopted from top to bottom.
“Many people desire to become members of BOT, but in the interest of peace, they compromised for some people to be on the board.
“What CRFFN is doing now is trying to stoke further crisis, we cannot conduct any elections for now because, none of the factions can win all their desired seats at various chapters.
“It has not been done before in the history of ANLCA that BOT is appointed, this is a difficult period, if we are setting aside the constitution, it must be done from top to bottom.
If the election is conducted as it is, nobody would survive it if one faction should take all the positions.
“The CRFFN is now trying to sideline some voters and candidates by bringing up these uneccessary requirements, meanwhile some of the people appointed into the BOT do not have these set requirements
“We should be fair to ourselves in our dealings, those in ASECO and BOT presently, do they have up-to-date payment records and standing with CRFFN?
“Why are we rushing with the elections? The one we did for the past five years, you couldn’t get it right because of crisis, why can’t we just do it now and get it right?” he stated
Meanwhile, on various stakeholders platforms monitored by our correspondent, ANLCA members reactions have continued to trail the requirements by the CRFFN in the coming elections.
Former Public Relations Officer of the Tin Can Island Port Chapter, Mr Emanuel Onyeme alleged that the CRFFN was playing dirty games with its involvement in bringing bsck peace within ANLCA.
Onyeme argued that CRFFN Diploma requirements cannot stand because, ANLCA is for corporate members, CEO/MD of companies who are licence owners, and not for individuals.
On his part, another member, Tunde Odofin said the CRFFN was working for an anointed candidate.
“It is a clear indication that a certain candidate is their choice for the election, are they to direct or give direction to a senior association? when does it become their duty to compel or dictate to ANLCA, what has diploma got to do with the affairs of the association? the settlement is already pregnant and will soon give birth to another rift if we are not careful” he warned