The newly sworn in President of NAGAFF, Chief Ezisi giving his acceptance speech.
Story by Dili Utomi.
A new leadership structure was on Monday unveiled at the main auditorium of the Rockview Hotel Apapa as the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) inuagurated a new 37 member national executive committee structure for the association.
The event which witnessed a well decorated and totally filled hall started with the usual formality of prayers, national anthem and the introduction of some guests.
Chief Ezisi being sworn in with his wife by his side.
The board of trustees chairman, Mr. Chidiebere Enelamah gave the welcome speech . He went down memory lane to described the experiences that they had while trying to midwife the birth of the association on the 30th of November 1999 as he buttressed that there were “Threats to life, police actions and legal battles”, but that all these were surmounted to give birth to the association that they have today. Mr. Enelamah also drew comparisons between the experience of the founder Dr. B.O. Aniebonam and the man who was sworn in on the day, Chief Tochukwu Emmanuel Ezisi and stated that the founder “has shown the way”. He vouched for the character of Chief Ezisi and said to him ” Tochukwu, your character is well known and appreciated by the overwhelming majority of the teeming members and hence the voice vote that saw you emerging as the sixth president of the association”. He advised the new president to channel his energy towards acquiring new structures for the association and promised the boards complete support to make him and his team succeed. He said that considering the new president’s humanitarian tendencies and his zeal to achieve results in all his endeavours that he is confident that Chief Ezisi will succeed.
Members being sworn in.
It will be recalled that on the 6th of October, the former executive committee of the association was dissolved as Chief Ezisi was then named the substantive president in an occasion that had a large number of members in attendance. Chief Ezisi is a freight forwarder of repute, a committed philanthropist who has built 48 bungalow houses for the widows and the poor with 10 more houses on the pipeline and a scholarship scheme for 268 indigent students. He also donated the sum of Ten Million Naira (#10,000,000.00) only on the day towards the building of a new secretariat for the association.
The new President conferring with Dr. Aniebonam with his wife to his left.
The oath taking ceremony was performed by the chief legal officer of the association, Barrister Fred Akokhia who also sworn in 36 other executive committee members to pilot the affairs of the association. Chief Simeon Nwonu retained his position as the deputy national president while Dr. Segun Musa became the deputy national president air logistics, Chief Afam Chukwuma is the new deputy national president seaport, Chief Timothy Awogbemi is the deputy national president land border while Mr. Dipo Olayoku is the general secretary as Mr. Francis Omotosho is the assistant general secretary of the association. Mr. Ibrahim Tanko is now the national chairman of the 100% Compliance team as many other positions were filled.
The president in a group photograph with some of his executive members.
In his acceptance speech, Chief Tochukwu Emmanuel Ezisi who is now the 6th president of the association said that he considers it a great honour to be appointed as the 6th president of NAGAFF. He paid glowing tributes to Dr. Aniebonam who he described as his role model and promised to try and fill the big shoes that he has left for others to wear. He says that the only way to forge ahead is for the whole to stick together in unity as he promised to seek the path of unity within the association.
The high table.
He also promised to initiate an insurance as well as a health care scheme for all memebers as he pledged to run an all inclusive tenure. He asked for the cooperation and understanding of all in order to achieve the objectives of the association.
Chief Ezisi added an addendum by saying that “I know nothing and have nothing to work with, the only material that I have to work with is you all, I ask you all for the knowledge so that the NAGAFF can excell”. He pleaded for all the agreived members to come back so that they can build one big family.
Traditional musicians adding spice to the occasion.
There was an outpouring of goodwill messages from many of the people in attendance. Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike, Dr. Raufu Ladipo, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, the representative of ACG Aremu, DC Felicia Num all gave their goodwill messages as they hope that more cordial relationships among all operators within the Maritime sector will be engendered.
The representative of ACG Aremu, DC NUM, F at the occasion.
Doc. Aniebonam in his remarks expressed his happiness with the crowd in the hall as people from rival associations and persuasions were present at the inauguration. He also declared his gladness as the various families of Licensed Customs Agencies and Freight Forwarding Associations are presently ironing out their differences and seeking common grounds. He gave a historical percepective to the formation of NAGAFF and also the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN). He touched on the qualities of a leader and said that a leader must take a decision whether it is right or wrong and expressed delight that Chief Ezisi is already taking decisions.
ANLCA president in white with other people on the high table.
There was an atmosphere of camaraderie as people ate, drank and socialised into the late afternoon. The event also spilled over to the secretariat of the association as more merriment and socialising continued there.
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