Compiled By: Joshua Yousouph
Simeon Nwonu (Deputy National President, NAGAFF)
NAGAFF has been clamoring for a standardized CRFFN as a regulatory body of freight forwarders. They are yet to understand why it was established in the first instance. Over the years from the time of the first election, CRFFN is being manned by people who lack knowledge of why CRFFN came into existence and that has made it to become a lame duck. In that regard, it has become difficult if not impossible for CRFFN to resolve this ANLCA crises. A lot of interests are involved and because of this it is very difficult to resolve that matter. Otherwise, the CRFFN has the regulations of even proscribing ANLCA. But can they do it? Up till now, they have not made public their resolutions on the crisis. Until CRFFN is clearly defined as a regulatory body of freight forwarders in Nigeria and not a quasi-government agency, and they elect people with technical know how to run the CRFFN, it will still be a lame duck.
Frank Obiekezie (National Secretary, AREFFN)
CRFFN by the Act establishing it has the mandate to regulate freight forwarders and associations. Regulations go beyond registration of freight forwarders association, paying annual subscription and so on. They have to go further to ensure that democracy operates in these associations. When I see the directives of CRFFN, what came to my mind was that, would this work? This is because there is a BoT that has claim to legal existence. The CRFFN resolution did not make provision for the position of that BoT. That should have been the starting point. If the CRFFN had actually wanted to impose its decisions on the association, it should have looked into the direction of dissolving the entire organs of ANLCA; although some of them may require some legal inputs but that would have been the best thing to do. They should start afresh by setting up an interim NECOM and not BOT. The caretaker NECOM in conjunction with the CRFFN will now call the AGM they are talking about where they will elect a new BoT based on formula that will be discussed and agreed upon. CRFFN should have taken time to negotiate with them. These are the areas the CRFFN should look into. They have the powers to de-register individuals and even associations. At the end of the day, individuals who still remain adamant should be made to exit for peace to reign. The CRFFN should watch out and ensure that internal democracy is practiced; not waiting for crisis to erupt before an action is taken.
Festus Ukwu (National Secretary, NCMDLCA)
The CRFFN don’t have the locus standi or power to wade in. The gladiators are key players in the Council and they are very much formidable. I don’t know how they are going about the peace moves but I feel if they can get Taiye Oyeniyi and sit him down then it will be resolved. They should all bring down their egos and shun every form of ego-centrism. They should also engage Henry Njoku and Farinto’s faction. I don’t know what their grievances are, but for them to accept the resolutions of CRFFN it must be fair to both sides and the chances are very slim.
Clinton Okoro (APFFLON PRO, Tin Can Chapter)
Of course, the CRFFN as the body in charge of all freight forwarders and associations has the right and powers to broker peace between the two factions. But the issue in ANLCA is that many people including other associations have waded in, all to no avail. We are concerned because they are the mother association and it is affecting other associations. Now that the CRFFN is wading into it, I believe they will all allow peace to reign. They should agree to the instructions of making sure that the AGM holds. That is what everybody is expecting. But the truth is that the issue in ANLCA is an internal issue which is already causing lots of problems here and there. Their BoTs are not helping matters. If they cab allign themselves with the resolutions of the CRFFN, the matter will be settled.
Francis Omotoso (Registrar, NAGAFF Academy)
The CRFFN has the locus standi to wade into any association issue and that is what they have done. They have taken the right step. I don’t really know the sincerity of the Chairman of the CRFFN governing council. But if he actually wants to do his job according to the powers conferred on him, he has to come with clean hands. He should not side any of the parties. He needs to call the two people who are the front runner of the conflict which includes Prince Olayiwola Shittu and Henry Njoku. Those are the two people he should talk to first and agree with. If the two of them don’t agree, then CRFFN will need to go back to the drawing board.
If the CRFFN is sincere and one of the party is still saying No, they have the final hammer to slam on the association which is either to proscribe the association or give a backup to the other side they have given a genuine position to. Definitely the other side will not agree and there must be penalties and sanctions. CRFFN needs to be genuine and say the truth where it should.
Taiwo Fatomilola (National PRO, AREFFN)
I pray it happens but with the way it is going, I don’t see it coming. I pray CRFFN takes a step. The person they may hit is Farinto and as long as Farinto still has an edge in the CRFFN, I don’t see it coming. Farinto needs to swallow his pride. If CRFFN wants to broker peace, it is expected that the two factions must agree. It is not possible for ANLCA to die a natural death. The other party may go to court. They have been so much empowered financially and unfortunately the highest bidder gets the final say at the Court in the Nigeria of today. Farinto’s does not have the kind of money that the other factions have that is why I said I don’t see it coming because it is the court that will give the final ruling. CRFFN cannot give the final ruling. If they do, the other party is not satisfied they will go to court.
Stanley Ezenga (Former PRO, NAGAFF)
Anybody has the power and influence to broker peace when there is a conflict. The CRFFN according to the Act that established them is empowered to wade in into any conflict in the five accredited associations; ANLCA inclusive. However, how they go about this resolution is expected to be upright. I see their moves as a give-and-take issue. When they come to the AGM proper, they can now lay down their grievances at both sides. If they agree to come to that AGM, I think this matter will be laid to rest. The CRFFN should convene the AGM by themselves so that the two parties will come and not have one party to convene a meeting. That is what some of them are kicking against. I see this move by CRFFN as an olive branch to the warring factions. Let them come together for the purpose of peace, because I can assure you that, if this move fails this could be the final nail on the coffin of ANLCA. If they are wise, which I know they are, they should take this opportunity with both hands so that they can keep existing.
Humphrey Okwuosa (Apapa Chapter Secretary, NCMDLCA)
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