The Customs Consultative Council (CCC) has been commended by the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) for embarking on a process aimed at bringing lasting peace to the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) which has been engulfed in acrimony that has threatened the soul of the association.
Commending the efforts of CCC, the National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, reserved kudos for the committee while expressing optimism that the CCC would be the last committee that would be set up in a long quest for peace in ANLCA.
He, however, reserved harsh criticism for the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) for allowing the imbroglio to linger for a long time.
It would be recalled that a seven-man Consultative Committee chaired by the Former Chairman of CRFFN, Aare Hakeem Olanrewaju, on Wednesday, July 20, 2023, held a meeting with some ANLCA Chieftains and key members of the two factions in Abuja where a truce was brokered to make way for lasting peace.
Establishing a truce in a meeting summoned by the CCC recently at the instance of the Acting Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, DCG Adewale Adeniyi, the Council directed the Acting National President of the Association Dr Kayode Farinto and his executives to vacate their offices to make way for fresh elections.
According to a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the CRFFN which is the regulatory body for freight forwarders was lampooned for failing to give strong and adequate professional leadership directions.
Reacting, Ogunojemite said, “Time to blame any chieftain of ANLCA for the crises is over as it is high time members of the Association came together to forge a common front.” He advised Chieftains of the Association not to fold their hands and watch the impasse deepen irredeemably.
“The CCC, in its communique, observed that disputes amongst members were hastily taken to court without exhausting internal mechanisms for resolving disputes while members that lose in elections do not accept defeat in good fate. The CCC also pointed out that many of the past executives invested their personal resources instead of addressing them and allowing justice to prevail,” he said.
Ogunojemite stated that the inability of CRFFN to fully resolve the crises in ANLCA and obvious quality leadership deficiency have exposed the Council’s myriad of lapses and went further and urged the Ministry of Transportation to get a capable Registrar to pilot the affairs of the Council.
He urged the CCC to scrutinize all Form C 07 & Form C 02 including licenses of members contesting for elective offices in ANLCA, and that of those who would be voting in the elections to ensure free and fair contest. The APFFLON National President asked the CRFFN to consult the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to ascertain the validity of the registration of the company names of both old and new members of all the Associations.
Finally, Ogunojemite asked the CRFFN to obey its act diligently and not limit the number of associations to be accredited as it is in breach of the Freedom of Association.
According to him, the CRFFN should stop propagating the so-called 66111 in the industry instead of being a rallying point for all freight forwarders.
He said Government should as well reduce the number of politicians on the CRFFN Governing Board for efficient performance and more professional inputs.