A retired Customs Comptroller; Christopher Banye has urged the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi to set up a panel to probe the alleged infractions and infringements in the election that was recently conducted into the CRFFN governing council.
Banye in an exclusive chat with Shipping Position Daily advised the minister to charge the panel to investigate numerous petitions trailing the election, and come up with a lasting solution.
According to Banye who was former Chairman, Board of Trustees of Association of Registered Freight Forwarder of Nigeria (AREFFN) lamented that presently CRFFN cannot perform the functions it is supposed to.
According to him, the Freight Forwarders Institute, a training arm of the CRFFN has not conducted any training in the last two years. He described the recent outing as an ‘election’ and not a ‘selection’ as described by industry stakeholders.
"If there are petitions and infractions here and there, the minister could now set up a panel to probe what has gone wrong based on what is placed before them. The panel would proffer solutions into correcting the infringements and infractions realized during the elections. Advise the minister on what to be done to correct them so that inauguration can now take place"
"The election to me was in order, this was the third election, the first one was taken over by ANLCA because the other associations weren’t strong then, on the second one, NAGAFF was already up-coming and it was able to enter some of its members into the council. This is the third election and it has been inclusive, all the associations were represented"
"Even the political parties in Nigeria as old as they are, there is still a lot of debate, is it going to be direct election or indirect or consensus, the debate is still on up till now, these are political parties were we have heavy weights. At the end of the day, winners will emerge and some will go to court"
"I heard it that the minister is avast to inaugurating the board because of some petitions that have come to him, but I tell you that there is no election that people will not feel aggrieved or go to court. The minister has not told us that the matter is closed and this is what we are all anxious about"
Banye noted that candidates that were coming in by appointment into the CRFFN board are already in the council from the six geopolitical zones. According to him, the slots that are yet to be filled are those of licensed customs agents.
To this, he said "It is not in the interest of the council that these slots are not filled up till now, we are praying seriously that the minister will have a rethink and inaugurate"
"We have the Freight Forwarders Institute, but it is almost two years now and no single training has taken place there, we are supposed to have this mandatory training that would professionalise the industry and build up the practitioners"
"We are all waiting for this inauguration that as soon as the board takes off, they will set machineries in place for the training, but there is no board now so we are losing many things in the industry"
"The minister should set up a panel to probe whatever the allegations are, and the body should also proffer the way forward"
"We cannot say that because of one or two persons that were wrongly chosen, that there are no pluses here and there for the arrangement, it is like throwing the baby away with the bath water, there could be infractions and infringements and complaints here and there, but that is not enough to say the whole thing s a farce or fake", he said