Chief Tochukwu Ezisi, the NAGAFF president and also a former CRFFN board member.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The election into the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) may have come and gone and the board inaugurated yesterday by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, but a whole lot of contending issues seem to be perpetully raised by stakeholders over this particular Agency.
The election into the board took place almost three months ago in February with their inauguration kept pending until the Minister saw it fit to finally perform that particular function and in between these months a whole lot of innuendoes have been thrown by different stakeholders all over for the preparation for the election, its conduct and the final inauguration of the board.
Princess Chi Ezeh, a board member of the CRFFN.
Now, a day after the inauguration of the Council, a letter which was released by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and which was signed by its national publicity secretary, C.C. Iwegbuna seems to have muddied the already murky waters of the politics into the board of the Council.
The letter started by congratulating the inaugurated board members as NAGAFF promises to make sacrifices for the sustenance of the ideals for which the Council was initially envisioned and set up to achieve. The letter stated the primary objective for which the Council was set up, but bemoaned the direction and result of the election as some registered associations failed to win a single seat into the Council thereby creating some level of disaffection within the ranks of the freight forwarding community.
Dr. Kayode Colin Farinto, a CRFFN board member who was re-elected and forms part of those inaugurated by the minister.
The freight forwarding association also knocked the government over what she sees as a breach of the law establishing the Council. NAGAFF frowns at the case where the Council is domiciled under the Transportation ministry and the workers there treated as civil servants, the association also buttressed its point of legally challenging the government at the court to declare the Council a private entity that should be devoid of the usual attachment to the government strings.
The major issue that gets NAGAFF seemingly irked is the appointment of the chairman and vice chairman of the board by the minister of transportation when even the president of the country has not had a hand in the appointment of members into the board and again the case of whether this is a government agency still subsists at the courts. The association is also riled by a rumoured attempt by the some members of the ministry to go through the back door of getting the national assembly to amend the law setting up the CRFFN in order to fully cement its fate as an appendage of the government.
It seems that going by the concerns enumerated in the letter by the NAGAFF and the musings by some other freight forwarders and stakeholders alike that it will take a while for the dust to settle over the knotty matter of who owns and controls the body that was initiated to regulate and administer all affairs pertaining to the operations and the welfare of all freight forwarders in Nigeria.
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