The Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam on Tuesday, advised the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) on the need to adjust the processes and guidelines of the elections into its governing board, Stressing that currently, there is massive recruitment of non freight forwarding practitioners by money bags for the purpose of winning the elections.
Dr. Aniebonam made the revelation during a press briefing at the NAGAFF headquarters in Lagos.
He however called on the management of the CRFFN to use the existent Register prior to the date the CRFFN elections was announced in order to avoid electing unwanted persons into the system.
“What I am seeing now in unbelievable even amongst NAGAFF people and I am not happy about that. Elections in Nigeria is such that Voters are bought with money thereby resulting to not having the right candidates.
“The Process of the CRFFN elections now is as that of elections in Nigeria, forgetting that CRFFN is a professional body. Now that there is election, you will find out that what is going on now is that even someone who is not a freight forwarder can be made to vote. We are not resolving issues as CRFFN will not go anywhere with this kind of practice.
“Those of us who fought for CRFFN knows what CRFFN is to resolve.
“But the way we have been going about CRFFN is making nonsense of every good job done by the wise men of the National assembly. Today CRFFN is now an agency of the government. It is not supposed to be. But the court has made that pronouncement and it is not right” Aniebonam further highlighted.
The Maritime expert noted that considering the current state of insecurity in the nation, Abuja is not the most appropriate place to carry out the elections.
He charged the CRFFN to reconsider, by bringing back the election venue to Lagos which has the largest throughput of Cargoes.
In his versatile way, he explained: “Abuja is not the most appropriate place to do this now, looking at the security of the state, I don’t think it is the most appropriate thing.
“In the last election, they were all done in Lagos. Lagos is the hub. The volume of people moving from Lagos to Abuja definitely will be too much. Not everyone will have the capacity to go by air. The road network is not too good in terms of insecurity.
I think those who are involved in organising this particular election should take a second view of this and take appropriate decisions in that regard. This is important”, he also reasoned.
Aniebonam however stressed that NAGAFF is ready for the elections as they are doing everything within its capacity in the area of training and certification of individuals who are regarded as practitioners.
“For this purpose, NAGAFF is ready for the election. We have lined up about 11 candidates. It was initially 10 but the National President, Dr. Increase Uche has now joined” he said.
The NAGAFF boss noted that the CRFFN has lost its relevance and statutory purpose of regulating the practice freight forwarding. He advised that the CRFFN should have consulted and engaged Stakeholders in the registered associations before embarking on the elections.
Aniebonam also called the attention of the Minister of Transportation to look into the issue, even as he suggested that the CRFFN should be removed from the Ministry of Transport to the Ministry of Trade and Investment if he (Minister of Transportation) has no further interest in the CRFFN.
“Elections in Nigeria is such that Voters are bought with money thereby resulting to not having the right candidates. The Process of the CRFFN elections is now is as that of elections in Nigeria forgetting that CRFFN is a professional body. Now that there is election, you will find out that what is going on now is that even someone who is not a freight forwarder can be made to vote.
“We are not resolving issues as CRFFN will not go anywhere with this kind of practice. Those of us who fought for CRFFN knows what CRFFN is to resolve. But the way we have been going about CRFFN is making nonsense of every good job done by the wise men of the National assembly. Today CRFFN is now an agency of the government. It is not supposed to be. But the court has made that pronouncement and it is not right.
“As a regulator, CRFFN is in a position to make a regulation wherein for every member of CRFFN, you must belong to any of the associations accredited by the Council. We have kept on advising and no one is listening.
I begin to wonder on the place of the Transport minister. There are several ministries more important than the Transport minintsry. What is the interest in CRFFN? If you have interest, help us to shapen CRFFN to achieve the objectives of the government. For instance, CRFFN stands out to enhance port reforms.
If you keep on reforming the port and you do not reform the practitioners, you will be building a castle in the air.
“I expect the Honorable minster to do something better than this. I hope they listen. I expect the electoral committee to seek the audience and interaction with registered associations which is the platform for a seamless administration, otherwise why did you register the associations, if you do not know how to use them.
” I insist that if CRFFN will have to survive, I think they will have to leave Transport Ministry, to probably, the Ministry of Trade and Investment, because we are not going anywhere with this” Aniebonam concluded.