Why CRFFN cannot work as expected


By Francis Omotosho

No doubt, if the CRFFN must function the way the Honorable Minister of Transportation wants it to be effective and deliver it mandate efficiently, the Minister must form the Council within the scope of the formation purpose, intent and objective of founding fathers of the Council. There are reasons, purpose and intent for establishing the CRFFN and whole concept and ideas is clearly stated at the formation stage, which provisions was entrench under the Part 1 of CRFFN Act No. 16 of 2007. Part 1 (Establishment, Membership, Tenure of Office and Functions of the Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria) Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Appointment of Political Appointees by the Honorable Minister of Transportation into the Council of CRFFN

First, the CRFFN Act in Part 1, Section 2(1) states that – “The Council shall consist of the following members from the Register of Freight Forwarders”. Which means that they all must be Registered Freight Forwarders either from the ruling political party or from other political parties to demonstrate the spirit of inclusive government, if the Minister so wish.

Secondly, the CRFFN Act in Section 2(1) (D) states that – “Six (6) persons appointed by the Minister to represent the six (6) geo-political zones of the Federation in rotation for two years at a time, no two of whom shall be indigenes of the same State”.

The purpose, intent and objective of this rule is that the Council must put the interest of the unity of Nigeria first into consideration and all Freight Forwarders who are citizen of Nigeria must be given equal share, stand and representation in the Council for the purpose of Federal Character. The interest of the unity of Nigeria first is recognized and paramount in the heart of the founding fathers of the Council. Therefore, six (6) Registered Freight Forwarders from each geo-political zone picked from one state in that geo-political zone to represent the interest of the unity of the country should be appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transportation; for two years tenure only and in rotation, to give room for other states in their geo-political zone to have their shares and representations, one state after the other from the zone and no two should come from the same state at the same time.

The Six (6) Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria: 36 States plus Federal Capital Territory, Abuja = 37 States

North Central (7 States):  Kwara State, Niger State, Kogi State, Abuja Federal Capital

Territory, Nasarawa State, Benue State and Plateau State

North East (6 States):       Bauchi State, Gombe State, Taraba State, Adamawa State,

Yobe State, Borno State

North West (7 States):    Kaduna State, Kano State, Katsina State, Sokoto State, Jigawa State,

Kebbi State, Zamfara State

South West (6 States):   Lagos State, Ogun State, Oyo State, Osun State, Ondo State,

Ekiti State

South East (5 States):   Anambra State, Imo State, Abia State, Enugu State, Ebonyi State.

South South (6 States):   Edo State, Delta State, Bayelsa State, Rivers State,

Cross River State, Akwa-Ibom State.

For instance, if a person was appointed by the Honourable Minister of Transportation into the  last regime of the Council that just expired, and the person is from Katsina state which is among  other seven (7) states in the North West Geo-Political Zone, that particular person cannot be reappointed to the Council for any reason and even any other person from Katsina state cannot be appointed to the Council until all other states in North West Geo-Political Zone (Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kebbi and Zamafara States) had also have their own fair shares and representations in rotation sequentially for two years each, before anybody from Katsina state can be appointed again into the council.

Appointment of Registrar and Assistant Registrar of CRFFN by the Council Members 

First, the CRFFN Act in Part III (The Register), Section 11 Subsection (1) states that – “The Council shall, appoint a fit and proper person to be the Registrar for the purpose of this Act, and such other persons as the Council may, from time to time think necessary to assist the Registrar in the performance of his functions under this Act. This means that it is the Members of the Council (Registered Freight Forwarders) that appoint Registrar and Assistant Registrar, not the job of the Honorable Minister of Transportation to appoint Registrar.

The Minister shall only concern himself to the Representations of Federal Character (Registered Individual Freight Forwarders Representing the Six (6) Geo-Political Zones of the Federation {Appointment of Political Appointees}), General Character of the Subject Matter (Registered and Accredited Associations of Freight Forwarders and Their Consultative Forum), Institutional Character (Registered and Accredited Freight Forwarding Training Institutions and as well Registered and Accredited Corporate Freight Forwarding Organizations). The Minister should not descend so low to the extent of entertaining complaints from an individual person as stated in Section 5(1).

Secondly, the CRFFN Act in Part III (The Register), Section 11 subsection 5(a to d) States that “The Registrar shall under the direction and subject to the requirement of the Council

(a) Correct in accordance with the Council’s directions, any entry in the register which the Council directs him to correct as being in the Council’s opinion an entry which was incorrectly made” see other subsections from b, c to d.

The Registrar as well is treated as an Individual person, not as government staff, because even the people in the Council that employed or appointed him are not government staff in first place as stressed by the CRFFN Act, First Schedule (Supplementary Provisions Relating to the Council) Section 10 (Miscellaneous) States that – “A person shall not by reason only of his membership of the Council be treated as holding an office in the public service of the Federation.

The Registrar is not a Federal Ministry of Transportation Staff; he is a staff of the Council and should be handled by the Council as his direct boss not the Honorable Minister.

The Chairman of the Council should be responsible directly to the Honorable Minister, he is to gives report to the Honorable Minister of Transportation, not the Registrar having direct contact and given report to the Honorable Minister on behalf of the Council (it is totally wrong and an abuse of power).

Thirdly, as it is provided for in the CRFFN Act, Part 1, Section 2(1) that “The Membership of the Council shall consist of the following from the Register of Freight Forwarders”. And also as specified in Part 1, Section 2 (2) that – “Only nominees under Section 2(1) (e) two persons appointed by the Minister to represent the accredited freight forwarding training Institutions and Section 2(1) (f) Representative of Government Establishments May Not Be From Register Of Freight Forwarders”. Which means every other persons or members in the Council must be a Registered Freight Forwarder including the Registrar and the Assistant Registrar, only the nominees from the training institutions and government agencies may not be a Registered Freight Forwarders. (It is all Freight Forwarders Affairs)

Moreover, as entrenched in Part IV (Miscellaneous) of the CRFFN Act, Section 24(2), states that “Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to apply to person who, while in the employment of any Government or, are required under the terms of or in the course of such employment to perform the duties or any of the duties of a freight forwarder”. It is an aberration for the Registrar who is a government staff, still performs the function of a freight forwarder.

… To be continued

Fwdr. Francis Idowu Omotosho RFF, FGAFF is Senior Forwarder Of Nigeria (SFN) and Registrar Of Nagaff Academy. He can be reached on 08033613009.

Photo: Mr. Francis Omotosho, Registrar, NAGAFF Academy.

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