A group known as the ‘Nigerian Content Local Shipping Forum’ has threatened that it is dragging the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to court over the result of last Saturdays' election, saying that the Council failed to carry all the components of freight forwarding practice in Nigeria along.
Coordinator of the group, Dr. Martin Enebeli spoke with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos yesterday, condemning Registrar of the CRFFN, Sir Mike Jukwe for hurriedly conducting the elections without consulting other relevant stakeholders.
Enebeli described the election as wishy washy, saying that it was done in breech of the CRFFN act.
He said that the National Content Shipping Forum is dragging the CRFFN to court.
Speaking, he queried that "the question is, where are the other components of freight forwarding in the Council? Out of twenty freight forwarding concepts, how can they use only one to form the board?
"This is a wishy-washy election after he had collected bribe from the freight forwarders, how can he conduct election in that manner? We have the insurance, the rail haulagers, NARTO and so on, where are these components in all this arrangement?" he questioned.
Enebeli said that what CRFFN ought to have done is to give only two portfolio to all the freight forwarding associations and let them go and contest for it, while other relevant sectors including the haulagers, rail freights, insurance and others also get slots until the council is formed.
He said that asides section 156 of section of Nigeria customs and Excise Management Act, there is basically nowhere in the world that clearing and forwarding is recognised and being the one to regulate other freight forwarding chain.
"It is the fault of as the registrar (Mike Jukwe), he refused to implement the statute of the CRFFN Act which is a law of the land, the statute defines who should be a freight forwarder, it is in the Act, this means that all the components of freight forwarding must be duly represented in the board, whether they show interest or not"
"The law is express, did it say that it is only clearing agents that should form the Council, the law mentioned it expressly these components of freight forwarding. Now how do you make a regulation on haulage, stevedoring, rail handlers, insurance, banks"
"What Jukwe told me is that the agents were the only people that showed interest, but the essence of the Council is that as a regulator should go for them " he said
Meanwhile the Registrar of CRFFN, Sir Mike Jukwe told journalists in Lagos on Saturday at the end of the elections that the Council gave all Contestants level playing ground.
Jukwe debunked allegations that some contestants were unjustly disqualified for the election which brought fifteen candidates into the Governing Council.
Jukwe said, "As we are all aware, this election is a long and tedious journey, l pray that the way and manner the practitioners have conducted themselves, they should take it to Governing Council so that good polices will be made which will move council forward and take the Freight Forwarders to a greater height".
According to the Registrar, "We gave a level playing ground to all the contestants who indicated interest, once you met the requirements, you are allowed to contest. But if on your own you don't want to, you are free to withdraw from the election, we didn't dis-enfranchise any contestants".
He announced that a retreat of all the elected members will hold in Abuja on Thursday where a chairman of the board is expected to be elected among them. He also informed that thereafter, the governing board would be inaugurated on Friday by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.