Recall that there was a gentleman agreement among the five freight forwarding associations in the last election where six members were alloted to NAGAFF and ANLCA respectively while the other three smaller associations took a seat each.
This was contained in a statement made available to our correspondent by the Founder of the Group, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam.
Aniebonam, who doubles as the National Chairman of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), said that 1100 out of the 1300 eligible voters are members of NAGAFF.
The full text of the statement reads, “The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders has activated its machinery to win 10 seats out of the 15 available seats in the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria.
“This has become necessary the need to give direction and character in the administration and management of the council for the regulation of freight forwarding in Nigeria.
“You will recall that in the last election into the Council Chambers, the magnanimity of NAGAFF to accommodate other registered associations members was significant.
” It is on record that out of 1300 eligible voters in the last election that NAGAFF had 1100 voters.
“This simply means that if NAGAFF had decided to pick the 15 seats available that she would have done that. Here we were that did not happen but rather we opted to accommodate other sister associations through a memo of understanding.
“Seats we allocated to NCMDLCA 1, NAFFAC 1, AREFFN 1, ANLCA 6 AND NAGAFF 6.
” We regret to state that the story changed at the Council Chambers where it became a case of betrayal of trust and conspiracy to with against NAGAFF by the small group associations.
“As it stands, we may be going into the election with ANLCA left with the remaining five seats.
“NAGAFF may not be ready for any compromise any longer but strictly business as it were. The young and golden boys and the Princess of NAGAFF are ever determined to add value in the proper management and administration of CRFFN.
“This has become necessary because CRFFN is a baby of NAGAFF and we must not allow it to die.
“CRFFN is the pride of NAGAFF and we hold it firm to our chest. We, therefore, call upon all the young freight forwarders who do not have a customs licence to their advantage to join NAGAFF and CRFFN where they are duly protected under the law.
” It is only CRFFN that has the absolute powers to control and regulate freight forwarding profession in Nigeria.
“Please note that practitioners as registered freight forwarders of Nigeria under CRFFN do not necessarily need the ownership of licences issued by the customs to practice.
“A freight forwarder is primarily a natural person who undertakes the services of moving goods across the international boundaries of a state to arrive at the owner’s warehouse in good order and condition, safety, and most economic cost.
“It is, therefore, the statutory responsibility of CRFFN to set standards of practice and certification of practitioners and as may be approved by the Council.
“Join NAGAFF now to the journey of the liberation of the young freight forwarders who are in the majority and needed to be powered to freedom and prosperity.
Meanwhile, NAGAFF has released the list of 10 members that will go into the October CRFFN elections.
The name of its President, Increase Uche, who was one of the six representatives of NAGAFF on the dissolved governing board, was dropped.
1 MALLAM IBRAHIM TANKO
2 ENGR EMMANUEL UMEADI.
3 ENGR CHUKWUNONSO EJIKEME
4 CHIEF IFEANYI EKEMEZIE
5 DR OKECHUKWU OKORO
6 MR NDUBUISI UZOEGBO
7 CHIEF TOCHUKWU EZISI
8 MR TIMOTHY AWOGBEMI
9 PRINCESS CHI GRACE EZEH
10 BARRISTER HENRY ORAROTIMI
Freight forwarders demand report of probe panel on large scale corruption in CRFFN
Speaking on the alleged misappropriation of funds by the CRFFN’s Registrar, Otunba Ogunojemite said, “The Registrar was alleged of employing 13 ghost workers, seized workers allowances in excess of N15million and other financial misappropriation.
“He was said to have single-handedly organized a fake training for selected CRFFN officials that cost N109million.
the Chairman of the Governing Council of CRFFN and the Ministry of Transportation, as they accused the CRFFN’s Registrar of several financial misappropriations and discrimination against
men.“Following the top issues of serious illegalities raised in the petition, the Transportation Ministry interrogated the CRFFN Registrar and the maritime public demand that the findings of the
Transport Ministry be publicized because we are aware that Mr. Muhiy-deen Awwal, Director, Human Resources Management, Ministry of Transportation headed a Committee that concluded a report on this matter.”
He appealed to the Minister to intervene and correct what he described as discrimination and injustice before it leads to agitation among those that are being cheated.
“Presently, the CRFFN has started sharing the proceeds of the Practitioners Operations Fee (POF) with only five registered associations at the rate of N200,000, thereby leaving out the individuals and corporate organizations.
“The associations benefiting are; the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF); Association of Registered Freight Forwarders (AREFFN); Nigerian Airfreight Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC) and National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA)”
He however, pointed out that the above mentioned five associations represent less than 40 percent of the entire freight forwarders in the country.
“It should be noted that individuals and companies pay the said POF, yet there is no platform for these categories of legitimate CRFFN registered individuals and corporate bodies to benefit from the POF that the CRFFN has been sharing among the monopolistic associations parading themselves as registered associations.”
“This continuous marginalization of CRFFN registered individual and corporate members is stoking a high degree of dissent that could evolve into a protest against CRFFN in the nearest future, even as it is a grossly illegal act that would soon land the agency in a litany of litigations”
Freight forwarder cries out over heightened insecurity at Lagos ports
—says miscreants, robbers now invade APMT
— laments high non-compliance among freight forwarders
The Eyewitness Reporter
One of the foremost freight forwarders in the maritime industry and the Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders( NAGAFF) 100 percent Compliance team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, has raised the alarm about what he described as burgeoning cases of insecurity at the Lagos ports.
According to him, undesirables elements such as robbers, beggars and other social miscreants, have now invaded the ports, sleeping and smoking Indian helms at the terminals.
Tanko, who is also the Vice-President, Western Zone of NAGAFF, made this startling revelation Thursday at the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria(MARAN) round table, a talk- show programme for industry players.
At the programme, Tanko lamented unrestricted access of these criminals into the ports despite the so-called multi-layer security mechanism of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), Nigeria Port Police, the Customs and the terminal operators.
He specifically fingered the AP Mollers Terminal as the worst hit as the terminal has been literally turned into a marketplace.
”I have once written letters to the Customs Area Controllers at Apapa, Tin Can and PTML commands over this issue but there seems no solution to the problem.
”If you go to the AMPT, Apapa, the place is like a market. There is too much crowd. Yo don’t even know who is who in that place.
”People sleeping and smoking Indian hemp at the APMT. The Terminal has become a haven for criminals and street urchins who molest genuine port operators in the terminal
Tanko further disclosed that these undesirable elements often trail their victims from inside the terminal till they reach outside the port before they strike, dispossessing them of their valuables and in few cases, killing them.
”There was a sad case of an agent who was trailed by these robbers right from inside the APMT terminal till they got outside the port where they robbed and killed him.
”In the process of robbing and killing their victim, the ID card of one of the robbers fell down which the police recovered.
”This led them to the criminal who confessed that they trailed their victim from inside the APMT.
”This shows the level of insecurity at the APMT terminal”, lamented the freight forwarder.
He therefore appealed to the Nigerian Ports police, the NPA and the Customs to tighten security at the ports because, ”as its is now , we are no longer safe doing our business at the ports”
He queried how those who have no business at the port could easily gain access into a place where is supposed to be a restricted area.
On the issue of extortion and harassment of freight foewarders by the Cutoms officers, Tanko blamed the audacity of the Customs to perpetrate this henious act on the high level of non-compliance among his fellow freight forwarders.
Tanko lamented that despite the efforts of the NAGAFF compliance team to stem the tide, non- compliance of freight forwarders to exant laws guiding cargo clearing process is still very high.
”This issue of non- compliance is affecting genuine freight forwarders. On daily basis, our containers are being seized on the road by various units of Customs.
”Federal Operation Unit(FOU) of Customs , CG strike Force and Customs Police, at different points on the road, harrass and seize our containers.
He said all these atrocious acts are being visited on freight forwarders because they are not doing the right thing.
Tanko said that in as much as he was not holding brief for the Customs or justifying their acts of impunity, he blamed the non-compliant freight forwarders for their woes.
He said no Customs officer will first ask for money but the fright forwarder who refuses to do the right thing will instead induce the officers with money in order to cover his atrocities.
The NAGAFF chieftain declared that despite the appeal and campaign of his compliance team, which they started two years ago, the level of compliance among the freight agents is still less than 30 percent.
He said the benefits for doing the right thing far outweigh cutting the corners ”as nobody will be able to extort or harrass you, neither will they be able to seize your containers”.
”If you make correct declaration and pay correct duties, nobody will be able to extort you, harrass you, threaten you with Demand Notice or even seize your containers. You will go home and sleep soundly.
”You could even sue them if they dare seize your container in error”, Tanko admonished.
Tanko lamented that those of them in the compliance team are being witch-hunted, threatened and branded as enemies and saboteurs.
He however enjoined freight forwarders to always do the right things in order to safe themselves from the incessant harassment of the Customs officers.
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