Should the CRFFN Registrar More Freight Forwarding Associations?

Joel Nwosu (ANLCA Member)

CRFFN has not given the already-registered associations  the operational manuals in terms of trainings and capacity development programmes in line with the Act establishing it, you are here talking of registering new associations.

CRFFN should indeed professionalize the already registered associations adequately before ever embarking on another round of registration of new associations. 

Alhaji Akanni Balogun (ANLCA at Tin Can)

If the CRFFN wants to be fair, they don't need to register any association again because, even the first five associations they registered was a mess, some people in the council then, who were fighting ANLCA believed that if they could register all these mushroom associations, it would favour them and they would have much weight to defeat ANLCA. For instance, most of the associations that were registered were part of ANLCA before, including NAGAFF, National Council, and AREFFN. If you look at the profile of their leaders, they have served in one position or the other in ANLCA, but because these people are so greedy, they want to lead by all means. 

 Prince Taiye Oyeniyi (Secretary, BOT of ANLCA)

The Council has gone out of the mandate from which they were set up, this is why you cannot find the right calibre of people there. I was the one that conducted the first council election, I discovered that I am a licensed customs agent under an Act of the Federal Ministry of Finance, another Act now is the CRFFN under the Transportation Ministry, have you ever seen a council saddled to regulate, now planning to come and take money in the port? In the whole federation, there is nothing like that, so why should our own be different? There are a lot of cases in court against them and more people are still going. 

So, whether they register 20 associations, it is not our business. Remember that ANLCA took them to court, when we could not find solution to it, we agreed that the board members as NECOM should sit down together and find a way out, but the president did not call a joint meeting, he decided to go and make the arrangements on their own, when the time comes, we would ask questions.

 Tanko Ibrahim (Vice President, Western Zone NAGAFF)

In deciding this, the law needs to be followed; I don’t think they can keep the associations to remain just five, the CRFFN is meant to regulate the entirety of Nigerian freight forwarders, so if the young ones are coming up, you cannot deny them, what I expect the CRFFN to do is to work towards making all the associations to be one, and not the splinter associations as we have today. When we were all in ANLCA those days, if (ANLCA) President Kamba is speaking you would know that somebody is speaking, can this happen today? No, this is just because we are not speaking with one voice, we need to speak with one voice, if it means collapsing all the associations and we should all come under the CRFFN, then it would be better.

 Frank Ukor (Past President, AREFFN)

There is nothing wrong with the Council registering more associations, provided the associations meet the conditions for registration, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Associations are not the cause of the problems in the industry; it is the government policies that are causing problems in the freight forwarding profession and the maritime industry in general. Even though the associations might have their differences, it doesn't in any way affect the running of the industry, it is the policies of the government that are responsible for whatever that is happening in the industry. If they can draft their policies properly, things will start working well, if they need freight forwarders to help them in drafting g the policies, we will help them. Let them stop blaming freight forwarding associations even though we might have our difference that doesn’t mean anything. 

Alloy Igwe (MMIA Chapter Chairman, ANLCA

For me, I don't have anything against registering more associations, the more the better, as long as you meet the criteria or requirement for registration. The council should have standard criteria for registration of associations. So, as long as any association meets the requirement, the association should be registered, the more the better.

 Judge Okafor (NAGAFF chairman, PTML)]

It is a free world, but left for me, if we can manage the number of associations that we have, it will help us to move forward. But you cannot stop people from associating and having associations just like Nigeria cannot stop people from registering political parties, they are free to do so.  

Dr. Osita Chukwu (Apapa chapter chairman, IFFA

I don’t even support any association to be registered under CRFFN, we are all practitioners and we have our licenses and since we are practitioners, you should be registered under your own association, associations should not be registered under CRFFN. Asking associations to come and register is encumbering the Act by which the council is set up. So I don’t support the council registering association. I was even supporting them to cancel the ones they have already registered because it negates the principles establishing CRFFN. For example, ICAN will register you as an individual with your license, then when you come to association you register your associations, they are doing this because of what we call edge over others who are good practitioners and with this style of registering associations, you can’t get good practitioners or those who can be at the board.