…Says correct errors of your predecessors concerning CRFFN
Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has charged the new Transport Minister, Hon. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, to entrench is name in gold by correcting the errors of his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, with regards to the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding In Nigeria (CRFFN).
Aniebonam, who is also the founder of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), stated this during a round-table discussion with the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN), held in Apapa, Lagos state.
The NAGAFF founder expressed sadness that a body spearheaded by his group as a private sector initiative, was now being hijacked by a cabal, masquerading as an agency of Government for selfish and pecuniary interests.
Aniebonam therefore vowed that NAGAFF would pursue the case to the Supreme Court, emphazising that there was no justification for such going by the letters of the Act establishing the Council.
He said, “I want to advise the minister to write his name in gold by correcting the mistakes of his predecessors like (Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi) and do what the CRFFN Acts says.
“If the CRFFN is an agency of government, why should its head which is 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, name them! Which one has its head appointed through an election like the CRFFN?
“Just because a set of people want to be collecting money from government, they said it is a government agency. Our lawyers are heading to the Appeal Court to continue the case. You remember that we went to the Federal High Court to challenge hijack of the Council? We are ready to pursue the case up to the Supreme Court”. Aniebonam said.
Meanwhile, the NNPP founder has reminded the new minister, Hon. Sambo, that by the Act establishing the Council, the freight forwarding body was supposed to be a replica of the Institute of Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
By this, he added, the body should be self-funded as spelt out in the Act as against through appropriation as presently done.
He made it clear that all freight forwarders, including the past Board chairmen, were all in agreement that the Council was a private initiative and should be so managed.
“I want the minister to carry out a thorough investigation as to the real status of the Council. Let him look at the Act and ask questions and he will find out the truth and be able to do the needful.
“Government needs money for a lot of things calling for its attention, yet some people are taking money from the same government to run an organisation which the law says should be self-funded.
“Imagine Amaechi, who at the hurried inauguration of the Council Board on the eve of his exit saying, ‘some people are saying the CRFFN should not belong to government but to the private sector, is it true?’ Can you imagine that?”
The Council was established by the CRFFN Act No. 16 of 2007. Its role “includes but not limited to the regulation and control of the practice of freight forwarding and promoting the highest standard of competence, practice and conduct among members of the profession”
Recall that some years back NAGAFF had challenged the conversion of the Council to an agency of government at the Federal High Court in Lagos and lost.