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Freight Monitor

NAGAFF raises alarm over attempt by ‘moneybags’ to hijack CRFFN elections

Boniface Aniebonam, NAGAFF Founder
—-accuses them of registering mercenaries to rig elections
Eyewitness reporter

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has raised the alarm over alleged recruitment and registration of mercenaries by people it described as “money bags” as freight forwarders to rig the October elections into the governing board of  Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).

In a petition signed by the General Secretary of the association, Mr Dipo Olayoku and sent to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, NAGAFF said that this formed part of many abnormalities that may impede free and fair elections into the council.
In the petition, obtained by our correspondent, the group also claimed that the short time frame for the elections is another danger signal that may not allow credible candidates to emerge from the exercise.
 It, therefore, suggested three- months time frame to enable the candidates to have proper preparation for the conduct of the elections.
“The extension will enable a joint stakeholders meeting involving the Electoral Committee and other critical participants in the CRFFN family, especially the five registered associations to cross-fertilize ideas on how to fine-tune the process for the CRFFN Governing Board’s election for a better result”
Rotimi Amaechi
Speaking on the venue for the elections, NAGAFF advised the Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, to take a second look and reconsider that the election is moved to Lagos for obvious security reasons, the strength of the population of Lagos-based stakeholders, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we appreciate the powers of the Committee to fix date and venue for elections, we are however compelled to suggest that the election be moved to Lagos for obvious reasons.

” It is on record that about 85% of cargo clearance is carried out in the Western Ports. In other words, the bulk of freight forwarders are domiciled in South-Western Nigeria.
“The consequences of moving this huge number of people to Abuja might be too enormous on the infrastructural facilities of the country as well as the safety and security of the voters.

“We are making this suggestion in the face of the deplorable state of the roads and the security situation in the country.

” While praising the efforts of Government and security agents in bringing the situation under control, we believe Nigerians should reduce the rate of exposing themselves to danger, especially long travels on the highways. We are also conscious of the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic”

The association however suggested that any fresh registration after the announcement of the Guidelines for the election is barred from voting.

“This will ensure that only Freight Forwarders are eligible to vote in this election. Again, we make reference to INEC and elections.
“Registration to vote in an election has a time limit and no registration is allowed after a certain time for a particular election”

NAGAFF also drew the attention of the Minister to some technical challenges faced by freight forwarders in the ongoing validation of membership status stating that this can hamper a free, fair, and credible election.

“We have received tons of complaints about the discrepancies in the membership list. In essence, those members who have registered under the Individual category are being placed under Executive, a situation CRFFN officials blame on their Portal.

” What that means is that something is wrong with the system and this brings to question the credibility of the data generated by such computer.
“All these issues might take some time to resolve, to engender free, fair and credible election”
It could be recalled that NAGAFF has lined up 10 members to vie for the council elections, vowing to grab 10 seats from the 15 seats allotted to freight forwarders in the 32- member governing board.
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Freight Monitor

Prince Nwokeabia rallies support for Comptroller Ukpanah, CAC Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi\command, as she assumes office 

Prince Nwokeabia,
 The Eyewitness Reporter
The Chairman of the Enugu chapter of the Association of  Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Alex Nwokeabia, has rallied the support of his members and other stakeholders in the chapter for the new Customs Area Controller of  Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Area Command, Compt. Comfort Senas Ukpanah as she assumed duty in the command.
In his congratulatory message to the new controller, Prince Nwokeabia, while welcoming Comptroller Ukpanah to the Enugu Customs Command, expressed confidence in the capacity of the new CAC to further drive the command to new heights of success.
The freight forwarder, who described the new CAC as a thoroughbred Customs officer who rose through the rank, believed that Comptroller Ukpanah would consolidate and surpass the achievements so far recorded in the command.
Prince Nwokeabia, while congratulating the new CAC on her deployment to the command, assured her of the readiness of the members of the Enugu ANLCA to support and work for the success of her tenure.
”I, Prince Alex Nwokeabia, on behalf of all the members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Enugu Chapter, welcome our new Area Controller,  Comptroller Comfort Senas Ukpanah, to her new post and wish her a successful tenure.
“The Enugu ANLCA wishes to assure her of our unflinching support and readiness to work with her and her team to ensure the successful implementation of her mandate” the ANLCA Chieftain declared.
Comptroller Ukpanah assumed office as the new Customs Area Controller of Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Area Command on Friday 15th September, 2023.

 She took over from Comptroller AM Adegbite who was re-deployed to Edo/Delta Area Command.

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Freight Monitor

Customs offers hands of fellowship to new ANLCA leadership , as Adeniyi congratulates Nwokeoji on his election

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Acting Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, has expressed the willingness of the Service to collaborate with the new leadership of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) under the leadership of Emenike Nwokeoji, in a bid to advance the customs brokerage sector and promote the interests of customs agents throughout Nigeria.
In his congratulatory message to the new ANLCA president, Adeniyi said his election was a reflection of the confidence the members of the association have in him.
While lauding the noble role that members of the Customs Consultative Council played in brokering peace in the war-torn association which eventually led to the conduct of a peaceful election, the customs boss said he was eagerly waiting for a productive partnership with the association.
Adeniyi however expressed confidence that Mr. Nwokeoji will provide solid and visionary leadership to ANLCA while working closely with the Nigeria Customs Service to enhance the collaboration between the two organizations.
“On behalf of the officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Acting Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi congratulates Mr Emenike Nwokeoji on his election as the National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA)”
After five years of bickering and bitter rivalry that polarised the oldest freight forwarding group in Nigeria into factions, including several botched attempts to broker a truce, the much elusive peace eventually located the troubled association on September 7th, 2023, when an election, which outcome was accepted by all the factions, was held and Nwokeoji emerged as the president of the unified ANLCA.
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Freight Monitor

Freight Forwarders threaten to shut down ports over alarming rate of extortions by maritime police.

Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun
The Eyewitness Reporter
The freight forwarders plying their trade at the Lagos ports are currently in a restive mood over what they claimed was the barefaced extortions, harassment, and intimidation by the maritime police.
The aggrieved customs brokers, in their petition to the new Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, have therefore threatened to withdraw their services if the excesses of these police officers are not checked.
In a four-page protest letter signed by Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim, the National Coordinator of the 100 percent Compliance team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF),  addressed to the IGP and dated August 22, 2023, the irate customs brokers said the activities of these police officers have considerably impeded facilitation of trade.
In the petition, Tanko Ibrahim, who is also an elected member of the governing board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN), claimed these officers, in connivance with the shipping companies, indiscriminately stop and detain exited containers from the ports with the purpose of extorting money from the owners.
Tanko, who said these extortionist activities of the police were curtailed under the past administration of police IG due to the outcry of the oppressed freight forwarders, lamented that the menace has now resurgent with new vigour, as the police now carry out their extortions in the open.
“Since the advent of the new administration, the officers and men of the Maritime Police have not only resumed these activities but also even more daring.
“They do not only block the release of containers from shipping companies, but they also arrest and detain containers on the roads, and even allegedly go into fisticuffs with the officers of the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigerian Customs Service”
The petitioners however fingered one of the officers whom they said was daring and boastful of his nefarious activities.
“To compound and confound the matter, one of their officers, named Superintendent Kenneth  Uwakool, who has been at Kam Salem House for more than three years, when the rapprochement was reached during the last administration, is the unrepentant bagman, who openly boasts that he is a millionaire.
“He sits atop proceedings in the extortion business’ the petitioners declared.
In the petition, each copy of which was sent to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, members of the National Assembly, and all the security agencies, Tanko Ibrahim, who ventilated the foul mood of the angry freight forwarders, claimed that the marauding police officers collect as high as N2m to N3m from their victims on each container before they let them go.
The petitioners wondered where were these officers when the Customs, in collaboration with other sister agencies, arrest containers with drugs, arms, and ammunition, accusing them of looking the other way while these illicit goods are being ferried away understand their noses.
He however appealed for prompt intervention of the new IGP in order to calm the frayed nerves of the harassed freight forwarders to starve off an impending showdown with the extortionist police officers.
“We, therefore, respectfully urge you, sir, to call the Maritime Police to order and save the ports from an imminent restiveness that may paralyze business activities and further cause economic loss to government revenue.
“We may have no option than to go on protest which may result in a possible shutdown of the seaports” the aggrieved freight forwarders threatened.
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