The former chairman, governing council, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Dr Hakeem Olanrewaju, on Monday, said the election into the governing board of the Council has been turned into contest of highest bidders by some registered freight forwarding associations.
Registered Freight Forwarding associations contesting for the Governing Council Election are Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (ARFFN) and National Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC).
In a statement made available to BUSINESSinsiderng titled, ‘A Press Statement For The Attention Of The Mimister Of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi,’ the former governing council chairman, Olanrewaju, said the noticeable signs trailing the dangerous trend was caused by the 35 percent revenue allocation to the accredited associations by official regulatory ammendment.
He alleged, that association owners and leadership resorts to select freight forwarders that are loyal, forced them to pay millions of naira, to secure their nomination ticket to represent their various associations in the governiing council.
According to him, few of the money bags that paid huge millions to secure the council seats had taunted that there is always a Return on Investments (RoI).
Olanrewaju, however, urged the transportation minister to show commitment towards attainments of professionalism in the freight forwarding industry through effective and efficient CRFFN administration.
He said, “Causes of a seeming, endless rancour amongst the practitioners, foremostly, let me put it on record that, the persistence clamour by the accreditated associations in their 6:6:1:1:1 sharing formula quests over and in preference to a credible professional electioneering process, stems from the following background and contemplations.”
“Notably, during the first governing council tenure, pursuance to section 6(2c), we made a regulation – 2010 ( Annual Subscription & Other Fees). In this regards, the practitioners transaction fee ( PTF) later rechristened as the Practitioners operating fees – ( POF) was regulated accordingly. The Fee was aimed to rapidly develop and galvanize the freight forwarding profession and to place it on the global map, especially so among the comity of professionalize freight forwarding nations.
“To this extend, it was resolved that, the accreditated associations, will receive a yearly subvention ( subject to the CRFFN management), for the sole aim of training programs ( capacity building). The subvention disbursement will be effected with consideration to respective associations numerical strength and spreads across the operational zones. And such, subvention is subject to yearly retirement and auditing by the CRFFN auditors , this was agreed on, in order to foster and integrate the culture of both professionalism and accountability amongst the freight forwarding accreditated associations.
Surprisingly, when there was no constituted governing council in place, the former registrar in collusion with some ministry staffs and associations leaders, went behind on the 26th day of February, 2015 and amended the provisions of section 9(1) of the above regulations 2010, with a caveat which reads thus: “CRFFN collects 60% as Internal Generated Revenue ( IGR), the Associations will collect 35% as provided by the CRFFN Act ( Accreditation of Associations of Freight Forwarders) Regulation -2010. The Registered Freight Forwarders/License Customs Agent ( RFF/LCA) is entitled to the 5% of the practitioners operating fee, which will be collected by the CRFFN and remitted to the concerned RFF/LCA”. ( Please see a copy of the said amendment under the third schedule as attached).
“At no time did the Accreditation of Associations of Freight Forwarders – regulation 2010 contemplated nor contained such dangerous tends excerpt perhaps to state the obvious suspicious, that, the said regulation might have been manipulated by the magic hands of the promoters.
“The crux of the matter revolves around this premise, leading to the rampant press fires works, the deliberate insistence, resistance and subtle threats and refusals by the leadership of the accreditated associations to any suggested or reasonable professional approach in matter of election, etc originates and revolves around this financial interests.
“Let it be put on record that, the only time the accreditated associations would be considered and deems fit for an administrative fee of 2 % of total CRFFN yearly income generation is when the CRFFN would have successfully accredits upto 10 associations (to represents all the professional areas of specialities ), then it puts up a 10 years seal for further associations accreditation. And then, package the 10 accreditated associations to transmute into the Nigeria Federation of Freight Forwarding Association ( a pending regulations has already been articulated to this effect.awaiting ratification and official gazette), which will be seconded to represent Nigeria in the global regulatory body FIATA and change the prevailing status quo, where the CRFFN is holding brief for Nigeria presence in the FIATA register, as promised.”
i. In addition, let me strongly posit here that, the civil servants seconded into the Governing Council in the first and second governing council insisted then, that, since the CRFFN was interpreted as an agency of the government by the attorney general of the federation, at no time must government be seen as sharing its revenue with an individual or corporate body, perhaps this maxim seems no longer in place.
Olanrewaju further called on the transportation minister to avert looming professional chaos ahead, talking in the realm of futuristic, saying, the civil servants seconded into the first and second governing council insisted then, that, since the CRFFN was interpreted as an agency of the government by the Attorney General of the federation, at no time must government be seen as sharing its revenue with an individual or corporate body,
“Analysis of vested interests in the 35% yearly income allocation to the association, will be articulated and forward to your attention, after investigation.
“Association Owners/Leadership Resorts To Selects Forwarders that are royal to them, as was reported that, some of them coopted and compelled some of their members to pay millions of naira in other to secure their nomination ticket to represent their Associations in the Governiing Council.
Few of them in their open remarks taunted that, there is always a return on investments.
Also, let me strongly posit here that, the civil servants seconded into the Governing Council in the first and second governing council insisted then, that, since the CRFFN was interpreted as an agency of the government by the attorney general of the federation, at no time must government be seen as sharing its revenue with an individual or corporate body, perhaps this maxim seems no longer in place.”