Contrary to expectations, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has said that it would not be going into discussions with the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) or any other accredited freight forwarding association with the intent of sharing the fifteen seats allotted to the freight forwarders in the Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) in the coming election.
The founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos said that he had tried to address that issue but members of the association were not really keen to that as they preferred that everybody should go for election in an open contest.
Aniebonam boasted that NAGAFF had the members who he said could make the election go their way noting that membership of the association was based primarily on natural persons.
His words, “I have tried to address that issue but the NAGAFF people are not really keen to that, they prefer that everybody should come for election, they prefer an open contest. So, let them come, let us go to the election. We have the members; membership of NAGAFF is based primarily on natural persons. So, if you check the number of persons in the industry, the individual practitioners and the law, CRFFN Act protects them as opposed to Customs and Excise Management Act that authorized licensing of companies.”
While not ruling out totally the possibility of talks between the accredited associations, Aniebonam who is also the National Chairman of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) said, “If there is need for us to still talk, we will talk but we will not want what happened the last time, the level of betrayal, to happen again because this third Council failed because of the issue of Chairmanship.
“Because ANLCA and NAGAFF did not agree on who becomes the Chairman, ANLCA was the maiden Chairman in a Council you said abinitio should not be established, you went there, you became the Chairman and destroyed everything. You were the second Chairman and the third time again, you still want to be Chairman and there was no cohesion.
“It was as bad as that but like I said; NAGAFF is always open to discussions. I am the leader, I am an open minded person, even though NAGAFF people is totally against anything that has to do with ANLCA in terms of allotment of seats. As at now, about ten of them are already lined up for the contest. Anybody who is ready to contest, go and pick the form and they will contest.”
He urged all the contestants from NAGAFF to see the election as a serious business, in which NAGAFF will only settle for maximum seats to be able to take control of the Council to make it deliver on its mandate.
He reminded them that the young freight forwarders are looking up to NAGAFF to liberate them from the current exploitation in the Industry, using the CRFFN platform.
Dr. Aniebonam urged other NAGAFF members spread all over Nigeria to pick up forms to be able to contest all the 15 seats, because the association has what it takes to do just that.
It will be recalled that the leaderships of the five accredited freight forwarding associations in the last Governing Council election agreed to share the fifteen seats allotted to the freight forwarders by the Act establishing CRFFN in a way and manner that will accommodate membership of the five registered associations in the Governing Council, an arrangement welcomed by the concerned associations.
Under the arrangement, ANLCA and NAGAFF which were deemed to be the two biggest associations were allotted six seats each while the three others considered to be of lesser strength were allotted one seat each.
Photo: Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, Founder, NAGAFF.
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