Amidst apprehension over the continued stay in office of members of its governing council, the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barrister Sam Nwakohu has distanced himself from positions taken by stakeholders over the tenure.
The registrar who had earlier been reported to have said that the tenure of the CRFFN governing council members was over, told our correspondent last week that he was largely misquoted and his opinion misrepresented.
Opinions have been divided over the tenure of members of the CRFFN’s governing council, while some vocal members of council have argued that, they enjoy a tenure of four years, most members of the shipping community have argued otherwise.
Shipping Position Daily had reported penultimate week that some members of the governing council are insisting on a four-year tenure as against the usual two years.
For instance, the Chairman of CRFFN’s Education and Training Committee; Mr Kayode Farinto had specifically insisted that only the Minister can ask the elected members to step down, while insisting that the Act stipulates four years for elected members and two years for appointed members.
But disagreeing with the above position, a freight forwarder, Mr Chidi Anthony Opara had in a recent statement sent to one of our correspondents, accused the council members of resorting to mischievous misinterpretation of the CRFFN Act. He sent a message to one of our correspondents.
According to him, “the Act under reference, established a Governing Council made up of 17 appointed and 15 elected persons as members of the Council. The Act provides also a two-year tenure which commences on inauguration by the Minister of Transportation”.
He lampooned the embattled members of the CRFFN board of erroneously claiming that the Act stipulate a two-year tenure for the appointees and a four-year tenure for the elected members.
He argued further that, “there is nowhere in the Act in which it is stated that there would be different tenures for the elected and the appointed members. It is clearly stated in the Act that the tenure of the Governing Council members for every session is two years. The current session of the Governing Council was inaugurated by the Minister of Transportation in October 2018 for a two-year tenure. This means that the tenure has elapsed”.
But, reacting to the back and forth, Registrar said it was not in his place to discuss the tenure of members of the governing council of the CRFFN.
He said: “Come to think of it, why would I express any opinion about the tenure of members of the governing council, while I am still the registrar and chief executive officer, I was misrepresented.”
“The tenure of members of the council is not an issue to be discussed on the pages of newspapers, in any case, I never said their tenure was over”.
He added that, even though the Act stipulates how long a governing council should serve, the Minister of Transport gives directives to the council.
“While it is true that, there have been different interpretations as regards the tenure of the current governing council, it is the duty of the honourable Minister (of Transport) to issue directives to the council as usual, it is not within my schedule or purview”, he added.
“Let me also put it on record that I have enjoyed working with members of the governing council, and I look forward to a continued working relationship with them”, he told Shipping Position Daily.