L-R: Clerk Of Senate Committee On Marine Transport, Dauda Bulama, Representative Of Minister Of Transportation, Suleiman Awal, President Buhari's Appointee On The CRFFN Governing Council, Abubakar Tsanni And Representative Of Maritime Services Department Of Transportation Ministry, Solomon Zaks As Electoral Committee Of The CRFFN Elections Which Held In Apapa, Lagos On Saturday.
• Newly-elected Council Members Vow To Transform Port Clearance Process
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Saturday swept majority of votes cast at the governing council elections into the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
This is even as the newly-elected Council members vowed to use their new position to effect positive changes in cargo clearance process at Nigerian ports.
Shipping Position Daily correspondent who covered the elections reported that it was conducted under a very peaceful atmosphere with a large turnout of clearing agents and freight forwarders cutting across the five registered associations.
The election was midwifed by the Ministry of Transportation; it was represented by the Director of Administration in the Ministry, Suleiman Awal.
The newly elected 15 CRFFN governing board members include: Agubanze Emmanuel, Ezekiel Chi Grace, Ozo Chukwura, Farinto Kayode, Austen Kelly, Aare Sanni Shittu, Tochukwu Emmanuel, Bakare Adeyinka, Henry Njoku, Daura Lawal Bala, Increase Uche and Peter Obi.
A breakdown of the results showed NAGAFF’s strength. In the Western Ports, the total number of accredited voters was 271, while 237 candidates voted, 34 ballot papers were unused. Two members of NAGAFF, Ifeanyi Ekemezie scored 114 votes, while Increase Uche scored 102 votes.
ANLCA candidates; Peter Obi got 9 votes, while another; Ozo Chukwura got 7 votes. Candidate of National Council of Managing Directors, Austen Kelly got 3 votes.
At the Eastern ports, two NAGAFF candidates, Eze Chi Grace scored 51 while Tochukwu Emmanuel got 47. ANLCA's Farinto Kayode got 3 votes, Henry Njoku 8 votes, while Daura Lawal from AREFFN got 1 vote.
Some of the big wigs who graced the election and cast their votes included: Founder of NAGAFF, Boniface Aniebonam and National President of ANLCA, Tony Iju Nwabunike.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily exclusively, one of the elected members of the board, Aare Sanni Shittu assured that the election will reflect positively on the cargo clearance process in Nigeria.
He told our correspondent that: "We are expecting a renewed Council that has all it takes to reform port operations, as it is done in other climes, there must be standard in any setting; it is just because we are disunited, this is why we have not gotten it right"
Also speaking, another elected member, Henry Njoku assured that the CRFFN would unite all freight forwarding associations and ensure that practitioners speak with one voice.
According to him, with the caliber of people elected into the board, the CRFFN will solve some of the challenges in the freight forwarding sector and move it ahead.
"I don't think we would have any crisis of interest, the primary thing is to solve all our common problems either as NAGAFF or ANLCA, we have to safeguard our profession and ensure things are done properly".
On his part, Founder of NAGAFF Aniebonam told journalists that “the greater number sof people at the venue are NAGAFF members”.
He expressed satisfaction that the CRFFN is now being positioned to sustain itself in terms of administration and mandate, and to meet up with the expectations of regulation and controlling freight forwarding in Nigeria.
"To achieve this, it has to be inclusive members of the board comprising of all registered associations. For the first time, all the associations came together to speak with one voice and see the need for them to advise freight forwarding profession in Nigeria “, he said.
On his part, ANLCA National President, Tony Nwabunike commended the turnout of the voters and the conducive environment.
He said that the first assignment for the in-coming Council is to professionalize and remove quackery from the profession.
"I am sure they will take over from where we started, they should know that it is a continuous exercise and we should give them time and chance to work" he said.