Do you think the creation of more freight forwarding associations would help the freight forwarding profession?

Ugochukwu Nnadi (Deputy President, NAGAFF) This is the beauty of democracy, people can always find their voice anywhere, the multiplicity of values have been in the system of clearing vehicles for a long time and nobody has taken the pain to ask why, sometimes when you try to ask the question, it is your fellow agent that would question on you why you are doing so, they always want to curry favour. I don't see the establishment of more associations as proliferation; I just take it that people are trying to express themselves, so it is a welcome idea.

 

Jonathan Owoh (Clearing Agent) Why these new associations are springing up is because the main umbrella body which is ANLCA have refused to do what they are supposed to do by tackling agents’ problem and putting it on the front burners. To me, ANLCA compromises a lot, whenever you lay a complaint, nothing would be done, the shipping companies are busy increasing their debit notes anyhow, when you go to the port, you would stay there for four days, the roads are bad and the associations are keeping quiet, we believe that they have been compromised and that is why they are keeping quiet, we need other associations to keep them on their toes. When NAGAFF came up, ANLCA protested, they tried all they could to kill NAGAFF but they couldn't, because the masses have lost interest in them, if you go there to complain for them to assist you, they would even take your importer.

 Kayode Farinto (National Publicity Secretary, ANLCA)When you talk about proliferation of associations, it is actually some people that are sponsoring it so that we would not speak in one voice, it has never helped the industry and it would not help the industry. When ANLCA was the only association, there was cohesion and there was understanding, the government took us seriously, but now, there is no unity. However, we are in a democratic era and there is liberty and freedom of association but this has not helped our industry. I just want to advise that whoever is establishing an association should think about the interest of the members, fear of God and integrity. We have so many problems in the maritime industry and it is as a result of proliferation of associations, it is because we cannot speak with one voice.

 

Ozor Chukwura (BOT member, IFFA)We have been associating, we have been mixing up, we have been staying with each other, we know ourselves and there is no way you can cheat nature, if you are born in the 1950's, today you must have been old, so you need to have grandchildren, many associations are as old as the number of year I have mentioned. The headmaster could be a master now, but it does not stop you from being a professor and overtake him tomorrow. The existing associations in the maritime sector are weak, so there is need for us to replace them with new ones; with IFFA, we have brought up international freight forwarders with international representatives, there is freedom of association, I am currently still in ANLCA, if I have the opportunity to be in NAGAFF I would still remain there. 

 Emmanuel Agubanze (NAGAFF)Creation of more association will not help freight forwarding. Although we are practicing democracy where there is freedom of association, people are free to join and form association. But at the end of the day when you keep forming associations, you keep duplicating associations it will make the sector speak with different voices. We are even looking at a situation where we will have only two associations that will speak with one voice and the government will hear. The essence of association is to enhance the welfare of the people. When you begin to divide and form many associations, you can no longer speak with one voice and the purpose is defeated.

 

Increase Uche (NAGAFF President)Creation of more associations is not going to help the sector in anyway. Even among the ones that are in existence for some of us that are freight forwarding experts, the only association there is NAGAFF; others are sub associations. Right now, there is no association that provides all the freight forwarding aspects except NAGAFF, what most of them do is factional freight forwarding. What we have now is cluster that is why we are talking about the CRFFN because it will help in diversifying the sector. We need to have an umbrella body for freight forwarders and it is only NAGAFF that can provide that because they have all it takes. For us to have the industry fully-sanitized there is no need for the creation of more associations. Every other association is supposed to come under NAGAFF. 

 

Bimbo Olayokun (NAGAFF)No, creation of more associations is not healthy for the industry; it will cause confusion, because they will be talking from different perspectives for their own selfish interest. We should be talking of how to merge the associations into two -freight forwarders and customs licensed agents. Having many associations will cause more problems.

Ifeanyi Ekoh (NAGAFF)Not at all, there is no need for the creation of more associations; the ones we have are enough. But because of the CRFFN Act, two or three people can form an association without having a structure on ground. Freight forwarding as a profession entails many things, its goes beyond transportation. We are supposed to have two associations, one is supposed to cover customs licensed agents and NAGAFF handles other. But because of selfish reasons people open associations just like what we have with political parties.

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