Dr Boniface Aniebonam, Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has identified the location of the headquarters of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) in Abuja as a major clog to the stability and acceptability of the organization and the root of most of the problems bedeviling the industry.
Aniebonam told PortNews that all essential parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Transport whose works and operations are inextricably woven are domiciled in the Apapa environs of Lagos for maximum productivity and result, whereas CRFFN remains aloof in Abuja, far from its operational base in Lagos.
“Why is CRFFN headquarters in Abuja? What is Mike Jukwe’s job in Abuja when everybody is here? All these parastatals work in tandem. If he is in Lagos as the Registrar of CRFFN most of that propaganda may not arise because there would be constructive engagements,” noted Aniebonam.
The NAGAFF Founder said as one of original founders of CRFFN, what they envisioned was a professional body distant from governmental interference which is a far cry from the present posture of the body, controlled by the government as a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Transport .
“CRFFN is experiencing its present problem because we played into the hands of the Ministry. The very people who went to the National Assembly to kick against its establishment were the turn-coats that the government used to midwife CRFFN as its pioneer executives. We threw away what the National Assembly gave us out of greed, wickedness and played into the hands of the Federal Ministry of Transport,” he said.
On the call for repudiation of the payment for Practitioners Operative Fee (POF) by Prince Olayiwola Shittu, National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Anieboam commended Shittu for his uprightness and consistency as a leader and public figure but quickly added that the baby cannot be thrown out with the bath water.
” ANLCA is in court over POF as well as NAGAFF is in court over usurpation of power by the Federal Ministry of Transport. The records are there, the original CRFFN Act did not specify CRFFN as a parastatal of the Ministry. But then, we cannot kill a baby that we nurtured. President Shittu is a good man who wants the progress of the industry, unfortunately members of ANLCA do not see those qualities of this good man. It is all about engagement and we will continue to engage all stakeholders till we find a consensus to move CRFFN and the industry forward,” explained Aniebonam.