Following the decision of the federal government of Nigeria to stop funding for professional Council and institutes by December 2024, the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has said that there is nothing to worry over the pronouncement as the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN has the ability to sustain itself.
Aniebonam who gave the assurance in an interview with Primetime Reporters in Lagos recently, said that a look at the Act establishing the CRFFN would reveal that there was provision for funding for the Council.
Stating that the National Assembly saw reasons to provide the freight forwarders a lifeline through the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding so that they could regulate themselves under government supervision, he added, “if you look at Article 6 of the Council Act (I hope I am correct), you will see provision for funding. Government went further, and gave approval for the collection of the Practitioners Operating Fee.
“So, everything that has been going on in CRFFN as far as money is concerned from the federation account is fraud and I believe that one day, not too far, the government will want to know what has happened to all the money, somebody must have to give account of all the money that has been taken from the federation account.
“CRFFN is not an agency of the government. So, what the government is saying is not new to us and that is exactly why we are in the court against all these mess. So, as far as CRFFN is concerned, the government is looking back now to take appropriate decisions. So the government is in order, it has taken the right decision. Other professional bodies, of course, they should be able to be self sustaining. People must learn how to work hard.
“The CRFFN has the ability to sustain itself because that is the next thing we will let government to know. CRFFN, abinitio, is never an agency of government and I speak to you from position of authority. One, the Chairman of the CRFFN is an elected member from the register of freight forwarders and that shows you that it is not an agency of government because if it is, Mr. President will appoint the Chairman of the Board just like in NPA, NIMASA, NIWA and others. If it is an agency of government, the Registrar of CRFFN is an employee of the Council not an employee of the Transport Ministry.”
Insisting that the grip of the crop of officers at the Federal Ministry of Transportation on CRFFN was too much, the NAGAFF boss, however, hoped that a day would come when all of them would fizzle out and the Council would have a breath of fresh air.
On what would become of the politicians appointed into the Governing Council of CRFFN with this development, he said, “Definitely, the Transportation Ministry will no longer be interested in the CRFFN. If there is no money coming to CRFFN, what will they be interested in? It is the money that is causing all these problem that makes CRFFN wobbling.
“There is fraud going on there as far as I am concerned. To the contrary, look at the money CRFFN has received from the government since 2007 till now. How much money and let us look at the impact on the Council. I say to you that a day will come when government will ask questions. Like I told you, it will just take one ‘mad’ man who is a bonafide member to take a pen and paper and write to EFCC and it will happen.”
Photo: Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, Founder, NAGAFF.
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