The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has indicated its intention to appeal the ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos which recently ruled that the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) is a government regulatory agency.
The Founder of the association, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam gave this indication in a letter he addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan titled,” Transformation Programme and Port Reforms of the President, Federal republic of Nigeria”, dated 8th August, 2014 and made available to Primetime Reporters.
Dr. Aniebonam regretted that for the past five years, the freight forwarders had been battling with the Ministry of Transport on the status of CRFFN as to whether the Council is a parastatal of the Transport Ministry or not adding that they were yet to understand why government should be struggling to fund private practitioners whereas the Nigeria Customs Service was being under funded.
According to him,” Your Excellency, Act 6 of 2007 of the National Assembly came to being over five years ago. It is sad to note that till date, the intention of this laudable action of the Honourable Members of the National Assembly in enacting that law is yet to materialize”.
“For the past five years we are have been struggling with the Transport Ministry on the correct status of CRFFN, whether it is a parastatal of the Transport Ministry or not. We are yet to understand why government should be struggling to fund private practitioners whereas Nigeria Customs Service is being under funded as the case may be”.
“However, we are going back to the appeal court to contest the recent court ruling which stated that CRFFN is a government agency whereas it is not. Suit No. FAC/L/CS/1538/11 of 30/6/2014 refers”.
“Your Excellency Sir, may we ask you as the head of government and the father of all, if CRFFN is a parastatal of the Transport Ministry, why was it that for the past five years you have not constituted the Board which is your prerogative? Section six (6) of the Act clearly mapped out the means of funding and yet some government officials preferred appropriation from the Federation account”.
He alleged that the CRFFN managers had gone to confuse the global body of freight forwarders the International Federation of Freight Forwarding Association (FIATA) that the Council was mandated to represent Nigeria whereas it was a body of professional freight forwarding associations that should represent the country.
He recalled that the first two elected chairmen of the Council were elected members from the register of freight forwarders expressing disbelief that all these were happening in a country of transformation policy direction.