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Freight Monitor

Hakeem Olanrewaju exposes plans to rig CRFFN elections 

Hakeem Olanrewaju

—– as Ameachi retains appointed former board members ahead of exercise

Eyewitness reporter
There is a grand plan to rig the October 9th  elections into the Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria(CRFFN).
Otunba Hakeem Olarenwaju, the pioneer  Vice -Chairman of the CRFFN  who made this revelation in Lagos, claimed that the first step into the grand design has already been hatched.
According to him, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, ahead of the October elections, has already returned the 17 members of the dissolved board to the yet to be formed fourth governing council, a move that is alien to the culture and constitution of the council.
It would be recalled that the CRFFN board is made up of 32 members which include 15 elected members from the freight forwarding industry while the remaining 17 members are appointed by the Government from the Nigeria Customs Service, Ministry of Transportation, and other civil servants and politicians.
However, Otunba Olanrewaju, who was the Chairman of the second governing board of the CRFFN,  in his expose, said this strange move was part of the scheme to rig the forthcoming council elections in favour of the 15 out- gone elected members who may wish to re-contest.
He alleged that there were internal arrangements and mutual understanding that the appointed politicians, who have all been returned before the elections, should work assiduously and deploy a process that will guarantee the return of the out-gone elected freight forwarders back into the CRFFN Governing Council Board.
Olanrewaju further alleged that the Tactical Electioneering and Voting Process constituted by the immediate governing board was part of the intricate plans to rig the elections.

The freight forwarder stated that the reappointment of the 17 non-elected members ahead of the elections established a fundamental error in the making of the intended electioneering process as the immediate past Governing Council Board was not properly dissolved.

“Presently, at the expiration of the outgone Governing Council Board, while the elected freight forwarders in the board heeded to the court seeking for their tenure elongation to four years and not two years as provided by the Act 16, 2007;  the appointed politicians were immediately reappointed by the Honorable Minister ahead of the freight forwarders election.

“From the last experience, this type of arrangement creates room for political manipulations and undue leverages.

“Unconfirmed reports have it that there exists an internal understanding and arrangements for the appointed politicians to work assiduously and to deploy a process that will guarantee the return of the out-gone freight forwarders represented back into the Governing Council Board of the CRFFN,”

Olanrewaju also picked holes in the electoral committee set up by the Minister which he said is also made up of members from the Tactical Electioneering and Voting Process which has been given the mandate to prepare their return to the board again.

“The freight forwarding practitioners are still very much doubtful and worried about the possibilities of the Honourable Minister of Transportation to have unknowingly played into this initial conceptualized Tactical Electioneering and Voting Process packaged by the outgone Governing Council Board.

“It is on record that the immediate past Governing Council Board set up a Tactical & Strategic Electoral Committee before their tenure elapsed, but the components of such electoral arrangements are still very much around in the present making.

“It is important to openly lodge the skepticism expressed by the generality of the freight forwarding practitioners which seek clarification to the effect that, this published election notice is not in any way a  mere Tactical and Strategic Electoral Committee and System or better stated, a furtherance of the formal Governing Council Board.

“This expression is apt because we are aware that in a “first-past-the-post electoral system,” a vote is tactical when it is cast for a selected candidate not on merits, but to best influence to ensure such candidate wins in the constituency.

” Tactical voting also includes strategic incentives granted to misrepresent the electorate’s choices via a manipulated and preferred electoral system.

“Tactical and Strategic Voting System is often organized to favour an incumbent or to foster status quo,” he said.

For the elections to be credible and devoid of rigging, Olarenwaju said it is important for the minister to address all the rigging ploys.

“Based on the foregoing, the freight forwarders require confidence rekindling statement by the Honorable Minister on the issues raised above.
A clarification is apt because it will be administratively counterproductive to allow freight forwarders to obtain election forms at a whopping non-refundable cost of N500,000 and to eventually discover later that the election was a mere charade and not too different from the last elections.”
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Stakeholder calls out Amaechi to account for millions of Naira in remittances made by freight forwarders under CRFFN.

Segun Musa
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Ameachi inaugurates 4th CRFFN board amidst muffled complaints over imposition of principal officers

Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation
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Farinto urges Customs brokers to mobilise 5m votes for  presidential candidate who is freight forwarders- friendly

Kayode Farinto, Ag, Pre4sident, ANLCA
Eyewitness reporter
Kayode Farinto, the Acting President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has enjoined freight forwarders to use their votes to bring in a government that has a passion for the welfare of freight forwarders in Nigeria.
The ANLCA chieftain made this call Monday in his May Day/ Sallah message to the freight forwarders confraternity.
Farinto, who bemoaned the harassment and intimidation the freight forwarders are being subjected to under the outgoing government in terms of multiple charges, levies and extortions, urged the oppressed customs brokers to use their PVCs to bring in a presidential candidate who will end the misery and sufferings of freight forwarders.
Consequently, he asked that the freight forwarders should mobilise at least five million votes in the maritime industry for a presidential candidate among the legion of contenders who will work for the welfare of customs brokers.
“The inconsistency in government policies is an eye-opener and we will enjoin our members to give the over five million votes in the industry to a presidential candidate that will be explicit on how to assist the Freight forwarding profession viz a viz implementation of people’s welfare policies their support and endorsements come 2023.
Farinto said the present government has shown a lack of empathy for the suffering and harassed freight forwarders who are even overburdened with all manner of charges in the face of an economic crunch.
“We won’t allow anyone to fool us like this outgoing government is doing.
“We are gradually losing our profession to foreign domination courtesy of lack of law that will protect indigenous practitioners”, he lamented.
While urging the freight forwarders to brace up for the reintroduction of the revised Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy this month, the ANLCA Chief warned them to be on their guard against people who may wish to compromise the process to the detriment of freight forwarders.
“Let me commence by saying that, it is obvious that the NCS will be implementing the VIN VALUATION this month, going by the news filtering around us in the industry and we need to monitor this because people will not want the process to be successful may introduce things outside our agreement into the procedures”
“I have released the agreed procedures on clearance of Standard Chassis vehicles that fall within VIN valuation and Non-Standard chassis vehicles,salvage, and accidented vehicles a few days ago.
 “We need to allow these new changes going by all we go through in the hands of customs various units to clear vehicles in the ports”
He recounted the horrific process of a clearance procedure, especially of vehicles, which he said is laced with extortions by the Customs
 “Even when you take your valuation, many alerts are put on our declarations and it takes the grace of God and difficult conditions to get them out of the ports.
“As if that is not enough, you need to know the numbers of calls we receive from our members delivering these vehicles within and outside the Lagos environment.
“Many customs units will say, your values are compromised, it must be jacked up and many of us are at their mercies pleading that DN should not be issued on already exited vehicles.
“This and many more things are what we believe The VIN valuation will eliminate.
“Many agents have been given forged and mutilated valuation papers by the third parties and are left to suffer the consequences of whatever happens.
“We do not need all this to get our vehicles released and we promise to challenge any command that may want to use the office of monitoring to extort money from our members when this new process commences.
The ANLCA Acting President also promised that the controversial issue of the National Automotive Council (NAC) 15 percent level will be pursued to its logical conclusion through the involvement of the national assembly and the instrumentality of the soon to be inaugurated Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN).
“The issue of 15 percent NAC turn levy will be pursued vigorously immediately after the Sallah break
because we will engage the National Assembly on the need for them to know that, this government is not sensitive to the plight of the masses to have introduced a levy at this period when the economy is in comatose.
” And we will also ensure that the Federal Ministry of Finance is dragged before the people’s representatives on this matter.
“Since the CRFFN governing council may also be inaugurated this week, it will be our first issue to be raised at the plenary which needs urgent national attention.
“All our efforts to eliminate NAC turn levy is being done in collaboration with the motor dealers association”
Farinto however said that before these lofty objectives of the leadership of the freight forwarders could be achieved, the members of the confraternity must be united to achieve their common goal.
“We must however come together to achieve greatness. An injury to one should be an injury to all” he declared.
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