Prince Taiye Oyeniyi (Secretary, ANLCA BOT)
The CRFFN election was an arrangement, and somebody like me cannot support such an arrangement, how can you explain someone that went for election and had one vote and you say you have conducted an election, under what law? In the Nigerian constitution, even though you are contesting for a councilor, you cannot secure one vote and they will declare you a winner, time will tell on whatever they have done. Unfortunately, ANLCA was disgraced at that so-called election, so if you are now asking for my advice for the new council members, what is my business with them? I am not a transporter, I am not a warehouse keeper, I am not a DHL operator, are the freight forwarders alone supposed to form the 15 council members? These are the questions. I contested for the first council election alongside Aniebonam, Lucky Amiwero and some notable agents, but we were all rigged out.
Ojo Akintoye (Licensed Customs Agent)
My advice for the new council is for them to see how they can fight for the interest of the common man in the maritime industry, we are facing a lot of challenges and problems in the sector, the ease of doing business that the federal government is trying to establish at the port is not working, the CRFFN is also a government agency, so they should be able to speak and make sure that the ease of doing business at Nigerian ports is achieved. The terminal operators, customs and shipping companies must ensure everything correlates together. Some people have said that the POF is the main attraction into the council, my advice for the council members is that they should remember that their tenure is just for two years, we are not saying that anybody should not do whatever they like, but they should have it at the back of their mind that they have only two years, after the two years, if we discover that you are not on our side, we can decide to vote you out, we are all watching and waiting for them. If the POF would be collected, it has to be for the interest of the common operators, welfare of their members should be paramount in their hearts.
Tony Iju Nwabunike (President of ANLCA)
The very first call for the new council is to professionalize freight forwarding and eliminate quacks, we were the very first council, they are the second set coming in and I am very sure they will take over from where we stopped, very importantly, they should know that it is a continuous exercise, but I think we should give them time and chance to work. We are agitating that Nigerians should be the only freight forwarders in the port and I am sure CRFFN will work on that in conjunction with ANLCA and other associations, making sure that foreigners do not take over the jobs belonging to our members.
Charles Ubah (Licensed Customs Agent)
According to the Act that establishes the CRFFN, the sole purpose is to organize professionals to speak with one voice and make sure that their welfare is protected. My advice to them is to eschew personal interest and forget about personal motive, they are there for us and not for their personal pockets, most of them have this intention of going into the council to make money, but I believe that very soon they will be disappointed. In the CRFFN there are three categories, the Association, Corporate members and individuals who do not belong to any association, everybody should be carried along, as far as you are a practitioner and you are paying your dues. But most of the members of that board, their main target is the POF and how to start sharing the money, but they would be disappointed, except we all come together and speak with one voice, not minding which association you belong to, we would not get it right.
Rev Jonathan Nicol (President, Shippers Association Lagos State)
I think their mandate is to make sure that CRFFN acts according to the enabling Act that set them up, they should work according to the Act so that freight forwarders are trained and retrained to meet international standard, otherwise, they might end up losing their jobs because the international bodies are already taking their jobs and we are not ready for that. So they have to protect the profession, you know what is happening now; the international shipping companies are contracting their jobs to foreign forwarders to pay all the charges with the exception of the customs charges. The foreign freight forwarders will do everything so they are working towards denying our own people the jobs they do.
Stanley Ezenga (NAGAFF PRO)
Before the Act was enacted, we had a vision that freight forwarding practice in Nigeria should be professionalized and the CRFFN was ushered-in to ensure professionalism as well as knowing the minimum qualification one would have before he can practice freight forwarding in Nigeria. So, my advice is that when these new governing council members come on board, they should discharge properly and bring out issues and enact laws that will propagate freight forwarding in Nigeria as it is done in other countries. Because here in Nigeria, it is just like anybody can join the profession without going through all the required knowledge and training. So let this council ensure that they enforce minimum qualification before anybody can join the profession and they will make it compulsory that if you are not a member of CRFFN you won’t practice freight forwarding in Nigeria.
Dr, Frank Ukor (AREFFN ex-President)
They should look at the problems surrounding CRFFN, and see how they can solve the problems. They should pay particular attention to enforcement, to ensure that practitioners comply with regulations and control.
Mr. Jones Idemili (AREFFN Member)
They should be upright in what they are doing, though the selection process was duly okay, but the amount involved; I don’t like it. However, moving on, I am praying for them to have a very good administration and by God’s grace they will achieve whatever they want. I urge them to make sure that they are representing the people and not to fight for their own pocket, whenever they want to take decision, they should be very critical in analyzing issues to ensure that the interest of the people are well represented.