… As Ogunojemite queries sharing of N200,000 POF proceeds to accredited associations
The African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, APFFLON has said that the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarding, NAGAFF have lost their membership of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN since eight years ago.
The President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite who made the revelation during a courtesy visit to the Governing Council of CRFFN in Lagos on Thursday, also gave the names of other associations which have lost their membership of the Council to include the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, Nigerian Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators, NAFFAC and the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria, AREFFN.
According to Ogunojemite, the accredited freight forwarding associations lost their membership of the Council following their inability to pay their annual subscription to CRFFN in the last eight years as provided for in the Act establishing the CRFFN.
He argued that by that singular act, the associations have ceased to be members of the Council thereby leaving the country with no accredited freight forwarding association.
His words, “According to reports before me, the last time any of the associations paid their annual subscription is about eight years ago during (Sir Mike) Jukwe’s regime as the Registrar. As I am talking to you, there’s no accredited association by CRFFN in this country because the Act provides that every association must pay her annual subscription before six months in the succeeding year and these people have not paid for eight years. Is that not violation of the Act?
“So, I want the Chairman and the entire Board to look at this. Then, there are other requirements for becoming a member of CRFFN. Are they meeting up? Is there any assessment? And when I checked the profile of most of these associations, most of them are inactive. I have a proof, they don’t update their books with the CAC neither do they pay their annual subscription to the CRFFN. The CRFFN should have a reconciliation account for all this if they actually pay.
“So, as I am talking to you, there’s no accredited association in this country because none of them have paid their annual subscription in the last eight years.”
He, therefore, described the alleged sharing of the sum of two hundred thousand naira (N200,000) to the five accredited freight forwarding associations from the proceeds of the Practitioners Operating Fee, POF as fraudulent and discriminatory wondering why the Registrar of the Council, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu should approve distribution of the money to only associations when the Act provided for three categories of membership for the Council.
“We want to look at that as fraud because if you look at the Act establishing the CRFFN, you have individual, association and corporate membership categories. Does it mean that individuals are not paying POF? Is the sharing of the money to only associations justified? I don’t think we should always go to court for everything. We have information that two hundred thousand naira is being given to these associations. I think we have to look at it. When the Act provided for three categories of membership, why distributing the money to only associations?
“What I will suggest is that the Council should register other associations or embark on assessment of the accredited ones, if not, let us all have an umbrella association that can get extract from the Council for the people that contribute to this profession. It’s either you accredit all associations or assess the performance of the existing ones because most of these associations are older than the Council itself.
“If the Council continues to distribute two hundred thousand naira to accredited associations, it then means that it’s still promoting the 6:6:1:1:1 sharing formula which was jettisoned during the last Governing Council election and this might probably lead to anarchy in this profession and when there’s no unity, you cannot get the best and I think that is one of the problems that is hindering the progress of the Council”, he submitted.
Photo: Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni, Chairman, Governing Council of CRFFN, Mr. Timothy Awogbemi, Member, CRFFN Governing Council and Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, President of APFFLON during the visit in Lagos on Thursday.
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