Aare Hakeem Olaranwaju

*Flays Appointment of Non Practitioners to Represent Geo-Political Zones

*Pick Holes in Sharing Formula for Council Election

The former Governing Council Chairman, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (CRFFN), Aare Hakeem Olaranwaju has hailed the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani for her prompt intervention in the modalities earmarked for the election of new members of the council.

In a statement issued in Lagos on behalf those he described as “well-meaning practicing freight forwarders” in the subsector of the maritime industry, Olanrewaju said: “I want to use this medium to express our profound gratitude for your prompt intervention aimed at not just saving the freight forwarding profession from potential anarchy but salvaging it from professional ridicule which self-centered and greedy leaders were deliberately poised to inflict on it”. 

Describing Ajani’s intervention as “motherly”, Olanrewaju noted that the Permanent Secretary decision was informed by the fact that she listened carefully to the reasons that prompted the official postponement of the election.

He maintained in the statement which was made available to Maritime Bits at the weekend that the inadequately structured electioneering processes for electing the 15 practicing freight forwarders into the CRFFN Governing Council was flawed in many ways.

According to him, there is a proof that you are a seasoned and listening administrator per excellence. Your further words of admonitions to the leadership of the accredited associations and by extension the stakeholders in attendance at the meeting, especially upholding to the intents and provisions of the Act 16, 2007, and the solemn advice that the forwarders, especially the gladiators should consider the interest of the profession over and above other interests is very apt.

He argued that the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Transportation Permanent Secretary was a sure and rare demonstration of the relevance of a mother in a dicey situation such as the one facing the freight forwarding subsector. 

The former Governing Council Chairman noted Ajani’s closing remarks at a meeting with the leadership of the accredited associations and stakeholders, pointing out that they were germane to the main issues rocking freight forwarders in the country.

He flayed the appointment of those he called “non-practitioners” across the country to represent the geo-political zones in the council.

To him, such appointment should be made among the practitioners with respect to the intent and true reflection of a professional regulatory Governing Council and not an advisory board in the order of government agencies under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.

“The appointed government agencies nominees should be picked from each agency departments related to freight and logistics concerns. This will make room for balance and ease of regulation making processes”, he added. 

He pointed out that Ajani was right in her observation on the abysmal performance that trailed the past governing councils.

According to him, apart from presenting practitioners with less interests and commitments towards the development of the profession, a major impediment stems from the number of the appointed politicians representing the geo-political zones in addition to the other appointed government agencies nominees making it 17 board members thereby surpassing the 15 elected freight forwarders into the Governing Council which has 32 members in all.

In order to address some of the ills that is plaguing the council, he enjoined Ajani to be resolute with her earlier position that only credible freight forwarders should be allow to contest professional election with or without accredited professional associations inclination or membership. 

According to Olanrewaju who is also Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Talod Oceanair Freight Limited, one of the administrative challenges the first and second Governing Councils contended with was the subtle moves to take over regulatory powers from the Governing Council members and the management team. But the Governing Council and management team has to stick to its regulatory posture to resist the move.

Describing it as “an ambush perfected by the accredited associations”, he picked holes in the idea of pushing for sharing formula of 6:6:1:1:1 in the forthcoming election into the council.

He wondered if this formula was used in the first and second Governing Council, some of those backing it including the National President, Association of Nigeria License Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr. Anthony Iju Nwabunike would have succeeded in their quest to be elected as members of the council.

His words: “The accredited associations are clamouring for election sharing formula in furtherance of their subtle quest to continually  teleguide  CRFFN administration even when they are not in professional good standing with the council as records have shown that they do not pay their respective registration and annual subscription fees to the CRFFN, except for  individual and corporate members who pays or subscribe annually but not the association in their statutory recognition as the third category of membership by the Act.”

He maintained that this singular act was an injustice the accredited associations was meting out yearly to the corporate and individual membership categories that officially register and subscribe annually.

The former Governing Council Chairman averred that the accredited associations by professional regulations do not have the moral and professional temerity to talk about any election sharing formula and the POF sharing percentage when they are not compliant with the provisions of the extant laws and regulations.

“Paying attention to them under the present election quest while they are owing more than 10 years subscription fees in arrears and official registration fees is the high point of managerial weakness on the part of CRFFN Registrar and the supervisory ministry”, he added.


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