Anxiety As NASS Allegedly Moves To Amend CRFFN Act Secretly    

There are indications that the National Assembly is making moves to amend the Act which established the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).Different sources hinted that, the amendment being sought  is to enable the Federal Government to hijack the hitherto distressed Council and to ultimately confer the President with the power to appoint Chairman of Governing Board of the CRFFN.There are indications that on May 12th 2017, the amendment will be introduced in the House of Representatives in Abuja.News of the amendment first filtered in last week at a meeting between the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of transportation;  Mr. Sabiu Zakari, Registrar of CRFFN, Sir Mike Jukwe, Executive Secretary, Nigeria  Shippers Council; Mr Hassan Bello and presidents of the five freight forwarding associations, namely : ANLCA, NAGAFF, Council of Managing Directors, NAFFAC and AREFFN.Sources confirmed that at the meeting, the freight forwarders raised an alarm over alleged secret moves by the National Assembly to amend the CRFFN Act without recourse to major stakeholders.The freight forwarders also raised concerns about the tenure of the Registrar of CRFFN, saying that it is wrong for him to continue administering the Council alone without a board.Confirming the impending amendment, the  National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders ( NAGAFF)hinted that it is being sponsored by the Chairman House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways;  Hon. Patrick Asadu.Also, speaking on the impending review in an exclusive chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos yesterday, President of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN; Dr. Frank Ukor said that the freight forwarders are already gearing up to make a surprise appearance at the National Assembly on May 12th in order to make their contributions to the CRFFN Act amendment."We were told that they want to amend the CRFFN Act on 12th of May. We want to arrange and go there so that we can make inputs. Somebody raised it at the meeting that the government is already planning an amendment to the Act without letting us know, they want to do it secretly on their own and put in whatever they want and it becomes the law""Now that we know, we are going to ask for the document to see what they want to amend and we would make our own inputs""We have insisted that people who are relevant must be invited to make contributions"According to Ukor, one major aspect of the CRFFN Act that is begging for amendment is the appointment of members into the governing council. He noted that there are five freight forwarding associations registered by the CRFFN, these associations should all be well represented on the board. "ANLCA and NAGAFF would not want it because they feel they have the number and the muscle and if they go there they would win in the elections. And I can tell you authoritatively that they are not working for the CRFFN. They are more interested in working for Customs than the CRFFN"A copy of the CRFFN Act amendment Bill which was sent to Shipping Position Daily yesterday by NAGAFF showed that the President is seeking the powers to solely appoint the Chairman of the governing board of the Council while the Vice Chairman only would be elected.