–Alleges protection from prosecution by ministry of transportation
The Eyewitness reporter
The Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, (APFFLON) has called on the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barrister Samuel Nwakohu to immediately proceed on a terminal leave preparatory to his disengagement from the council.
The four-year tenure of Barrister Nwakohu as the Registrar of the CRFFN ends in February 2023.
He was appointed in February 2019.
Making the call for his immediate disengagement was the National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite.
Otunba Ogunojemite, who was a guest Thursday at the roundtable event organised by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, (MARAN) in Lagos, observed that the immediate disengagement of Samuel Nwakohu from the CRFFN was imperative due to the fact that the council has derailed from its core mandate under the leadership of the Registrar.
The APFFLON president said the Registrar has to give way for a thorough and comprehensive reformation of the council to take place.
While urging the council to focus more on reformation than its present preoccupation on accreditation, Ogunojemite lamented that this misplaced priority by the board has affected the image of the body which he said harbours redundant accredited associations.
The APFFLON president alleged unholy collaboration between the CRFFN Registrar and the supervising ministry of Transportation which he claimed was shielding the Registrar from prosecution despite the avalanche of allegations against him.
“There is an issue that needs to be addressed, for instance, the Registrar is supposed to be leaving the Council because this is his 4th year, he is supposed to have proceeded on terminal leave to hand over, while there is supposed to be vacancies for the next Registrar.
” But we do not know the collaboration between the Permanent Secretary and the Registrar that makes them to be keeping the Registrar.
“There are a lot of allegations against the Registrar, we did not see the outcome; we are just being kept incommunicado.
“So it is not accreditation that matters to APFFLON but reformation of the industry, we want to be proud of our industry.
“We had a meeting sometime ago and the purpose of the meeting was for the reformation in the industry.
“We had issues with the CRFFN in the court and we have started processing to come out of court based on the response that things we want should be done in the Council.
“APFFLON found that a lot of people have violated the Council’s Act, for instance, it is in section 19 of the CRFFN Act, that if you do not pay your subscription within six months, you should be deregistered, we found that so many associations did not pay for years, and they have not been deregistered.
“For God’s sake, we are not on an animal farm. It is people who claim to be accredited and you have an issue that is supposed to be addressed by the Council and you went to court, which automatically earns you expulsion, and it is not being done. Then you want the Council to be effective when people violate the Act.
“We can rate those that have been accredited, what are their achievements? What are they doing? Accreditation is little to APFFLON what is important is reformations.
“His (Registrar) tenure is ending, he should proceed on terminal leave, we need reformation, and we want the Council to work.
“We are ashamed to present our Council with others like the lawyers, engineers etc.
“Look at the issue of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association, FIATA, how can the Council represent us in FIATA?
” It is never done; it is supposed to be an umbrella for all the freight forwarders than to be representing us at FIATA.
“There is an extent to which professionals can make decisions in the Council because the government has half and we have half. So how do we agree to disagree? So the issue for APFFLON is the reformation of the industry.
“There is no accredited association in this country because all of them are not competent to be accredited. Some of them have not paid their subscriptions, and the Act says if you do not pay, you will be deregistered. They said the only disqualified association APFFLON.
“APFFLON is overqualified, we have over 1000 members we are up to date. Some of them are inactive except APFFLON.” Ogunojemite claimed.