Rector, Certified Institute of Shipping of Nigeria (CISN); Prof. Alex Okwuashi has said that emergence of Retired Col. Tsanni Abubakar as Chairman, Governing Board of the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN) is in order.
Okwuashi said in Lagos that CRFFN was an annex of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the ministry could determine the leadership of the council.
The recent emergence of Tsanni has generated mixed feelings in the maritime industry.
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has threatened to take legal action against the appointment.
“The CRFFN is an offshoot of the transport ministry. Therefore, it is within the purview of the ministry to determine who heads the council.
“The government cannot determine who leads Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) or any such professional body because they are not under the control of government.
“The freight forwarders are not professionals in that spectrum but rather an association under government’s purview. It is good for them to register their displeasure but they should not push it too far,’’ Okwuashi said.
The rector called on the freight forwarders to call off their protest and work with the board chairman in order not to create any rancour in the sector.
The National Public Relations Officer of NAGAFF, Mr Stanley Ezenga, said on Sunday that the association would take legal action against the appointment.
Ezenga said that NAGAFF believed the action was against the provisions of the CRFFN Act which states that the chairman should emerge through an election.
He made reference to Mrs Chinwe Ezenwa, a former staff of the Ministry of Transportation and Dr Eugene Nweke, a former NAGAFF President, then South East representative in CRFFN.
Ezenga said that both were disqualified from contesting the board chairmanship in the past for not meeting the constitutional provision as government appointees.
He noted that the position of the chairman of the CRFFN board should be devoid of government’s intervention, if the purpose of the CRFFN Act is to be achieved.