Following plans by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) to have 10 of its members in the governing council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and with N100 million already raised to achieve that, members of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) are worried that the association may be thrown out owing to the threat by NAGAFF not to accommodate any associations if it eventually dominates the council.
The threat by NAGAFF is further worsened by the fact that the rival association; ANLCA is currently disunited owing to crisis surrounding the Board of Trustees of the association.
In a chat with our correspondent, a top executive member of the association at Tin Can, who pleaded anonymity for obvious reasons, informed that ANLCA presently can be referred to as a toothless bull dog.
He acknowledged that the present crisis in the association has put NAGAFF at an advantage to sweep the council polls, even though the Minister of Transportation has directed that the election into the council should be on individual basis and not on the basis of membership of freight forwarding associations.
The source however feared that with the directive and resources put together by NAGAFF, its members may end up dominating the CRFFN governing council.
Also expressing palpable fear, a member of ANLCA, Mr Joe Adumaza Sanni informed that presently ANLCA does not have a united front to start discussing the issue of the CRFFN council election, while informing that few of the ANLCA members jostling for positions in the council are only doing so for their selfish interest. He however added that NAGAFF can go ahead to sweep the council.
But, on his part, the National Secretary of ANLCA, Mr. Babatunde Mukaila, described the threat by NAGAFF as a cheap one, stating that the council is for all and not just for a particular association.
He equally noted that election into the council this time around will be on individual basis and not based on associations.
He said: “Talk is cheap, if the council is meant for freight forwarders, then let all freight forwarders participate, if NAGAFF felt they have the war chess of course everybody is allowed to sound its own trumpet. But my take is, if the election is meant for freight forwarders then freight forwarders will participate, I won’t come to NAGAFF level by making argument with them; the election is meant for freight forwarders and after the election we will see who will be in the council”, he said.
Meanwhile the Vice President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto on his part expressed fears that with the Minister’s arrangement for individuals to participate in the election rather than having associations have representative in the council, it could be hijacked by money bags who lacks merit.
He also alleged that some prominent freight forwarders and some past presidents of freight forwarding associations wrote to the Minister to make the elections a free for all in order to satisfy their pecuniary gains.
On his part, the Secretary General of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA); Mr Festus Ukwu threatened that if no member of NCMDLCA gets into the council in the coming elections, the association will refuse to obey any of CRFFN laws.
According to him, the next governing council of CRFFN should be made up of representative from all of the five accredited associations.
“The CRFFN was created for the freight forwarders and there are five accredited associations and government has allotted 15 slots to the five accredited association, it is imperative that at least, the accredited associations must have a representative in the board.
“Where that does not happen, we can resist any policy by the CRFFN, we can go to any length either by court or whatever; all I know is that each association must have a representative in the board, if not as Managing Directors we are capable of giving our people orders not to obey any rules by CRFFN”, he said.
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