CRFFN Election: APFFLON decries inadequate resources, manpower at Lagos screening centre


…Demands improvement

As the electoral committee commences screening of both the candidates and voters for the forthcoming Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Governing Council election in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt, the African Association of Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has decried inadequate resources and manpower noticeable at the Lagos screening centre on the first day of the exercise.

Addressing journalists on the screening exercise in his office in Lagos, the President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite noted that from the intelligence reports available to him, there were no resources for the screening exercise scheduled to hold at the Command Guest House, Apapa Lagos as the screening committee had only two laptops and only about four or five staff including the Director, Education and Training, Dr. Alban Igwe.

Ogunojemite observed that, “I was calling constantly and as at 12.30 in the afternoon, the screening exercise has not started leaving one to wonder how they would be able to screen all the eligible voters for the election and they don’t seem to have direction. They now asked people to go out as they were going to print the list first before calling them in for screening.

“So, there was inconsistencies in the screening process which I believe they must have gone over at this point. And so, we would not want the same thing to continue tomorrow (today) because they did not start in time and they did not have enough resources on ground to handle the exercise. How are they going to have a good outcome for the screening?

“So, we need to emphasize this because sometimes we look at it from the side of conspiracy between SW Global and the accredited associations who are rooting for sharing formula to sabotage the election and this will rubbish the good intentions of the Honourable Minister to reform the sector.

“This election has been planned since last year, there should not be excuse at this time to get all the resources to facilitate a credible election. If screening is slated for 7 and 8 of March and as at 12 noon today (yesterday), they have not started the screening, how would they be able to have a thorough screening?

“It says a lot about the capacity of the management of the Council itself because this is not the first time we are having an election and now that we should be having independent candidates, we are having this issue. It is because we believe that some people are ganging up against the independent candidates which may have stopped them from providing enough resources to enable them embark on thorough screening.”

He, however, acknowledged that the exercise was going on smoothly at the Port-Harcourt screening centre adding that the exercise commenced in good time there with a large turn out of the freight forwarders for the exercise.

His words, “Things are going on in Port-Harcourt very well. From the report I got, they started around 10:00am in Port-Harcourt and the turn out there is even much higher than Lagos. Probably, the cabals domiciled in Lagos was responsible for the situation in Lagos.”

While appreciating the electoral committee for a job well done at the Port-Harcourt screening centre, he, however, appealed to the committee to speed up the process in Lagos as we as address all the noticeable problems at the Lagos screening centre including shortage of resources.

He equally admonished the committee to be strict with the screening so that only people who are qualified with the requisite intellectual capacity would scale through.

On the directive by the Registrar of CRFFN to the immediate past Governing Council members to return the official vehicles in their possession or risk disqualification in the forthcoming election, the APFFLON boss said, “Does that mean that those of them who are not contesting would not return their vehicles? I don’t think this should be the criteria for those vehicles to be returned. Those vehicles should have been returned to the management of the CRFFN immediately their tenure elapsed.

I looked at it as a function of weak administration or inexperience on the part of the management of CRFFN at this particular time. How could that be a criteria for them to qualify for the election? How could they be using the collective resources of the entire freight forwarders without having any service to render to us the freight forwarders?

“We have former Governing Council members who are dead but are still keeping those vehicles in their custody. How would they return them? So, participation in the election should not be used as a criteria for them to return the official vehicles in their custody. All the resources are supposed to have been returned to the management of CRFFN.”

Photo: Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, President, APFFLON.

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