The founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has given a graphic picture of how the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC and the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA contributed to the many challenges the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN is going through at the moment.
Aniebonam who spoke to our correspondent in an interview in his office in Lagos Thursday pointed out that the challenges of CRFFN could be traced to its formative stage when the leadership of NSC under Captain Adamu Biu could not follow through the process to midwife the first Governing Council election for the CRFFN as mandated it to conduct by the Federal Ministry of Transport.
He noted that the inability of the Shippers’ Council to put together a register of freight forwarders at that time led to the disenfranchisement of the main target of the Council which according to him, must be a natural person rather than an artificial person, leading to the rigging of the first Governing Council election.
“So, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council under the leadership of the late Captain Biu cannot be exonerated as far as the wobbling of the Council is concerned. Even the former ES of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, who was the legal Adviser to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council at that time was totally against the whole process because it is a default. Despite all his opinion as a legal Adviser, it was jettisoned.
“And so, instead of having an inclusive register of freight forwarders, it became exclusive by using licenses issued by the Nigeria Customs and of course, you should know that licenses issued by the Nigeria Customs Service has to do with artificial person. So, the aim of the Council became defeated because the Council targeted individuals that can acquire skills and knowledge to perform as a logistics provider.
“We moved to the maiden election, the election was rigged and those who fought against the Council at the National Assembly took positions. John Okechukwu was part of this and at a time, he was mandated to midwife the maiden election”, he submitted.
He further maintained that ANLCA should equally take its own part of the blame for the many problems of CRFFN adding that ANLCA it was that dragged the Council into the government circle prompting its take over by the federal government.
His words, “I will never stop calling ANLCA in this mess. Abinitio, I am part of the people that drafted the Council’s Act, late Dr. Ikokhide, Prof. Ebere Osieke, Boboye Galtima Liman, Chris Asoluka and others . This Council is a pseudo Council , a private Council that is self sustaining.
“ANLCA dragged this Council into government circle. It is just about rubbing shoulders, ego, wanting to be something that you are not and when I speak, I will be calling names. Be that as it may, the Council started to fail from day one, in the formative stage of this Council’s Act, the first Council election.”
Aniebonam who is also the founder of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, however, said that the only way forward for the CRFFN is for ANLCA to listen to constructive engagement as NAGAFF alone cannot right the wrongs inherent in the Council.
“Some people in government are good in divide and rule. They will like when NAGAFF goes this way, ANLCA will go the other way. But if they form a good synergy and speak with one voice which is the essence of the establishment of CRFFN to regulate and control the freight forwarders. So, where is the regulation, where is the control, where is the education? Where is the standard of practice? This is what CRFFN is expected to achieve”, he concluded.
Photo: Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, founder, NAGAFF.
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