CRFFN Election: ANLCA replies NAGAFF over comments on talks with other associations


Following recent comments made by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) where it ruled out talks with other freight forwarding associations on sharing the 15 seats allocated to the freight forwarders in the Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has said that NAGAFF is talking from the position of ignorance.

Reacting to the comments credited to the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam by this medium in one of its publications recently, the National Secretary of ANLCA, Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde Mukaila noted that the electoral guideline released by the electoral committee did not give room for associations to allocate slots to themselves as was the case in the last election.

Mukaila pointed that this time around, every qualified freight forwarder had been asked to come forward adding that the CRFFN had not called NAGAFF nor ANLCA to present candidates.

“It is a different guideline, this is it. They are missing the whole point. If Aniebonam said that ten are coming from NAGAFF, the guideline did not stipulate that associations should nominate this time around. So, it is a different kettle of fish”, he said.

On allegation that ANLCA disappointed NAGAFF in the last Council as pushed forward by Dr. Aniebonam, Mukaila said, “But saying that ANLCA disappointed them, I have not been to Council, so, I wouldn’t know what transpired between the elected Council members. I wouldn’t know what he meant by that statement because from the beginning to the end, both ANLCA members in Council, NAGAFF and every other association were all working together in a harmonious way.

“That NAGAFF gave us respite, we still appeal to Aniebonam to continue to give ANLCA that respite knowing full well that they are baby to ANLCA. So, we will still implore him to give us that respite if he has any which I doubt he has but if he do have, of course, knowing full well that himself is a member of ANLCA, he only pulled out to form NAGAFF. So, if he thinks he still have respite to give his mother association, he should continue to do that. But this time around, we are ready to participate.”

Speaking on the fate of the smaller freight forwarding associations in the coming election as NAGAFF claimed that it was sponsoring ten candidates while ANLCA equally claimed it was sponsoring fifteen candidates in the coming election, he said, “I will leave that to small associations to decide because the Honourable Minister has come out with a guideline, a guideline that excluded the associations.

“If the smaller associations felt it was not good for them, let them raise an objection, then, we can now talk about it. But for now, the guideline stipulates that every qualified freight forwarder should come forward and contest. If the smaller associations felt this guideline is not adequate, let them raise an objection. Of course, we are all Nigerians, we will look at it, then we can come back to discuss how we can resolve taking the smaller associations along.”

On attempt by ANLCA to run for the Chairmanship of the Governing Council for the third time which gave room to Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni, an appointee of the federal government to emerge as Chairman of the last Governing Council against the provisions of the Act establishing CRFFN, he quipped, “We have the might. Politics is a game of number, ANLCA has the might, we have the number, we have everything to be the Chairman of that Council. If Aniebonam wants ANLCA to play it down for him, he will say it in a very simple language not on the pages of newspapers.

“Hon. Tony Iju, for the first time in the history of this association has a very soft spot for NAGAFF. He has visited NAGAFF village, he has always consulted Aniebonam on issues not from the point of weakness but from the point of a senior association which thinks we should collaborate. But when you stampede ANLCA into a position, then ANLCA will let you know that nobody can stampede her. ANLCA can take any position for the interest of the maritime industry. We are not averse to winner takes it all, we still want to collaborate and make sure that we have a robust maritime sector.”

Asked if ANLCA would initiate the move to talk on sharing the 15 seats allotted to the freight forwarders in the Governing Council if NAGAFF fails to do so, he replied, “NAGAFF said they don’t want to talk anybody, per adventure NAGAFF wants to still talk to somebody; we will be willing to talk. NAGAFF has already initiated a move of not wanting to talk to anybody and I said in the course of this interview, I said if NAGAFF said they are very magnanimous to concede something to ANLCA before, why won’t they concede again knowing full well that the founder came from ANLCA. So, we still appeal to them to concede if they can, if not, we will all meet in the field and when the dusts settle, we will see who and who are in the Council.”

Photo: Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde Mukaila, National Secretary, ANLCA.

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