By Kenneth Jukpor
A former National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Eugene Nweke has stated that the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi lacked legal powers to appoint the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
Nweke condemned the imposed leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni and Chief Henry Njoku by Amaechi at the inauguration of the 4th Governing Council of CRFFN which held in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to reports the Transport Minister simply walked into the conference room to announce that Tsanni and Njoku who presided over the 3rd Governing Council should continue and no one opposed his position.
However, in an open letter to the Minister, Nweke described the Minister’s action as a deliberate compromise and willful disregard to the extant provisions of Act 16 2007, section 2 (a)(b) and section 3(5).
Nweke stated that the CRFFN Act in Section 2 stipulated that the Governing Board chairman and vice chairman should be elected and not appointed by the Minister.
Section 2 Subsection 1 (a) states that “one person who shall be elected by the Council from members of the Council as Chairman” and (b) posits that “one person who shall be elected by the Council from members of the Council as Vice-chairman.”
The former NAGAFF President stressed that he read through the CRFFN Act but could not see any section or subsection that confered on the Minister such powers to appoint Chairman and Vice Chairman for the regulatory governing council of the CRFFN.
“Base on the said report, by suggesting and using such phrase as “maintaining status quo” implies that, this is a continuation of the 3rd Governing Council endorsed by you for the completion of the controversial four years tenure which was canvassed for by 95% of returned members, invariably, the earlier court decision on tenure elongation is a mere formality, judging by your action.’
“Honorable Minister, your open endorsement of a “status quo ante” cast a serious integrity and due process questions on the recent compromised election for 15 Freight Forwarders into the Governing Council under your purview,” Nweke said.
While congratulating the newly inaugurated Governing Council members, Nweke warned the practitioners to expect no meaningful professional success by negotiating their political interests over and above professional interests.
“Deliberate colluding with politicians to create professional insecurities, uncertainties and distrust has the capacity to destroy professional effectiveness and relevance. Be weary of those vices that push men of goodwill out of the profession. You are all representatives of the larger freight forwarders in Nigeria, you understand the myriads of challenges and remember a representative who weld a good working team will be better prepared for the long haul,” he admonished.