Chairman Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Mr. Tsanni Abubakar (7th from right) Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam and his wife, Chairman BOT of ANLCA, Chief Henry Njokwu and other dignitaries present at the celebration of the 'Freight Forwarders Day' and official retirement of NAGAFF founder from the association in Lagos yesterday
Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr Boniface Aniebonam yesterday bowed out of active association politics in the freight forwarding subsector of the maritime industry, with the celebration of a 'Freight Forwarders Day's which held in Apapa, Lagos.
Aniebonam during his remark at the event expressed fulfillment of his mission in NAGAFF with the recent inauguration of a new governing board for the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) which saw six members of the Council coming onboard for the first time.
With this, Aniebonam expressed satisfaction, saying that he now has capable hands to hand over the reins of the association to.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that in 2010, Aniebonam had announced his retirement from NAGAFF; he later resurfaced to setup NAGAFF Integrated Services, a consultancy firm.
Speaking yesterday, the NAGAFF founder announced to dignitaries who graced the occasion, including the Chairman of CRFFN board, Tsanni Abubakar, his vice Henry Njoku among others that: "I am not going to be involved in association matters anymore, if you come to me for anything, you would pay consultancy. I believe that NAGAFF at my back will be bigger than when I am there"
"The good news today is Tsanni Abubakar (CRFFN chairman) he is an added advantage to CRFFN because he is neutral, the caliber of people in the council today are capable of turning around the fortune of the industry", he said.
Aniebonam charged the CRFFN to fight intimidation of freight forwarders by terminal operators, shipping companies, Customs and other government parastatals.
While speaking, Chairman of Governing Council of CRFFN; Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni who was ‘father of the day’ at the event, said that the council is still gathering information on the various challenges facing freight forwarders with the view of finding a lasting solution to them.
He also disclosed that the council will be working with various government agencies to actualise its mandate.
"We are still gathering information on the various challenges that freight forwarders are facing and I can assure you that we shall address them head long. With the singular cooperation of the relevant stakeholders in tackling the hiccups impending their facilitation of their legitimate trade", he said.
He reiterated that with the support of associations and agencies, CRFFN will leave no stone unturned in actualising its mandate.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), has fingered non - enforcement of the Act which established the CRFFN and the gap created by the absence of the board for almost six years as one of the major challenges in the industry.
President of NAGAFF ; Mr Increase Uche said that issues bordering on poor funding and incentives have limited the development of the freight forwarding sub sector particularly young enterprising professionals.
Uche who pointed at delays in the passage of various maritime bills into law, also reiterated that lack of full automation of the clearance process and various uncertainties created by territorialism and system manipulations also pose a threat to the industry.
However, the NAGAFF President advised that the government's policy of regenerating the economy should be targeted towards creating an export-driven economy and massive investment in infrastructure which will most likely create more opportunities for logistics providers and freight forwarders.
He noted that, "in the national economy, freight forwarding and logistics contribute a significant proportion to GDP and works as one of the key engines of growth. For Nigeria to revamp her freight forwarding and logistics sector for optimal growth for the economy, the government must ensure that future logistics operation be tailored towards the employment of Internet of Things (IOTs)"
Uche advised the new board of CRFFN to address the conflict on who is a ‘declarant’, adding that the Nigerian logistics chain deserves an enhanced infrastructure with a more supportive regulatory framework.