By Ranmilowo Ojalumo
The founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has called on the newly appointed Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo and the Minister of State for Transport, Mr. Ademola Adewole Adegoroye to write their name in gold by ensuring that they resolve all the issues revolving around the status of the Council For the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
Aniebonam made the call on Monday during the roundtable discussion of the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN) in Lagos. The NAGAFF founder said at the event that CRFFN is not an agency of government as misconstrued by some elements in the industry.
The NAGAFF founder said the emergence of some people in the council has made it an agency of government. He pointed out that CRFFN is a child of NAGAFF and the law that establish it clearly stated how the body should be funded but some people prefer to be running to federation account to fund the council, a development he sees as anomaly.
He lamented that the body has not achieved its objectives after many years of its existence but expressed optimism that the council will achieve its objective in near future. He therefore called on the new minister to write his name in gold by correcting the mistakes of the former minister, Rotimi Amaechi by obeying what the act that established the council says.
Dr. Aniebonam said “Sambo should write his name in gold by correcting the mistakes of his predecessors like Amaechi by doing what the CRFFN Acts says. The minister should call major stakeholders in the industry to find out if CRFFN is an agency of government or not. CRFFN is not an agency of government and stakeholders hold this view, so the new minister should act.
“If the CRFFN is an agency of government, why should its head, the Chairman of the Governing Board be chosen through election from the Register of Freight Forwarders? Tell me which other government agency whose managing director or director general is appointed through an election process. You have NIMASA, NPA, Shippers’ Council, NIWA; which one among them has its head been appointed through election like the CRFFN?
“Just because a set of people want to be collecting money from government, they said it is a government agency. Government needs money for a lot of things, yet some people are taking money from the federation account to run an organization which the law says should be self-funded. I want the minister to carry out a thorough investigation as to the real status of the Council. Sambo should look at the Act and ask questions and he will find out the truth and be able to do the needful”.
It would be called that NAGAFF went to the Federal High Court to challenge some ugly developments in the Council earlier, Dr. Aniebonam disclosed at the roundtable discussion that the association is going to high court soon to continue the case, adding that the association is also ready to pursue the case to Supreme Court.