*Slams FMOT PS for Keeping Mum on Allegations
*Seeks Reforms of Freight Forwarding Industry
The Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has asked the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Mr. Samuel Nwakohu to resign from office.
The association also asked him to proceed on terminal leave so that he will not in any way continue to interfere with a thorough investigation into the day-to-day running of the council since his appointment.
The National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite made these demands at a roundtable orgainsed recently by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) at its International Press Centre (IPC), Apapa, Lagos.
Ogunojemite wondered why the embattled Registrar of the CRFFN would continue to remain in office in spite of the numerous allegations against him just as he called for the reforms of the freight forwarding industry in the country.
According to him, we had a meeting sometimes 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.
Continuing, he said: “APFFLON found that a lot of people have violated the provisions of the CRFFN Act. For instance, it is in section 19 of CRFFN Act that if you do not pay your subscription within six months, you should be deregistered. We found out that so many associations did not pay for years and they have not been deregistered. For God sake, we are not in an animal farm. It is people who claim to be accredited and you have an issue which is supposed to be addressed by the Council and you went to court which automatically earn you expulsion and it is not being done. Then you want the council to be effective when people are violating the provisions of the Act establishing it.
“There is an issue that needs to be addressed. For instance, the registrar supposed to be leaving the council because this is his fourth year in office. He is supposed to hand over and proceed on terminal leave while there is supposed to be a public notice to fill the vacancy but we do not know the collaboration between him and the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transportation that nothing is happening about his exit. There are a lot of allegations against the Registrar. We have not seen the outcome. We are in the dark on what the council and the ministry have done about these allegations. Therefore, it is not accreditation that matters to APFFLON but reformation of the industry. We want to be proud of our industry”.
According to Ogunojemite, 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 tenure is ending, he should proceed on terminal leave. We need reformation and we want the council to work. We are ashamed to compare CRFFN with other people’s councils such as the one for lawyers, accountants and engineers.
He averred that there are many anomalies in CRFFN that are begging for immediate attention so that it can actualize its mandate as enshrined in the Act establishing it.
“Look at the issue of International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA). How can the council be representing us in FIATA? It is never done. It is supposed to be an umbrella body for all the freight forwarders than for the council to be the one representing us at FIATA. There is an extent to which professionals can make decision in the council because its membership criteria are skewed in favour of the government. While the professionals have half, the government has half. So how do we agree to disagree? So the main issue for APFFLON is reformation of the industry”, he added.
Ogunojemite alleged that there is no accredited association in this country as all of them are not competent to be accredited.
According to him, some of them have not paid their subscriptions and the Act say if you do not pay your subscriptions, you will be deregistered. They said the only qualified association is APFFLON. In fact, APFFLON is over qualified. We have over 1000 members and we are up to date. Some of them are inactive except APFFLON.