By Kenneth Jukpor
Two months after the Ministry of Transportation began investigations on the numerous atrocities allegedly perpetuated by the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barr. Samuel Nwakohu, a freight forwarding group has called on the Ministry to reveal its findings.
Mr. Muhiy-deen Awwal, Director, Human Resources Management, Ministry of Transportation chaired the Committee which carried out the investigation on the CRFFN boss and other activities at the Council.
Nwakohu was accused of employing thirteen ghost workers, seizing workers allowances in excess of N15million and financial misappropriation, specifically to have single handedly organized a fake training for selected CRFFN officials that cost N109million.
Some aggrieved members of staff at the Council revealed this in a petition sent to the Chairman of the Governing Council of CRFFN and the Ministry of Transportation, even as they accused the CRFFN Registrar of several financial misappropriations and discrimination against men.
The document dated August 20th, 2020 obtained by our correspondent was signed by CRFFN top management staff including the Deputy Director, Finance and Accounts, Dr. Abah George, Head of Internal Audit, Mr. Agor Gideon, Head of Research and Development, Mr. Leo Anigbo, Head of Administration/ Human Resources, Mr. Ben Ojumah and the Head of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta.
Part of the petition read: “Recently 13 ghost workers were detected in our nominal role. They started receiving salaries in March 2020 even though their names are not in the 2020 Personnel budget. There was also no official memo from the Acting Head of Administration’s office to the Head of Service for approval.”
Following the top issues raised in the petition, the Transport Ministry recently interrogated the CRFFN Registrar and the maritime public is demanding that the findings of the Transport Ministry be publicized.
Speaking with MMS Plus on this, the President of African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Otunba Frank Ogunojemite remarked that the covert investigations has raised more uncertainty among freight forwarding practitioners in the nation.
“Recall that while commending the Transport Ministry for instituting an investigation two months ago, APFFLON called for transparency and public briefing of findings after the Ministry concludes its investigation over alleged financial misappropriation and misconduct by Nwakohu,” Ogunojemite said.
The President of APFFLON, Frank Ogunojemite expressed gladness that the Registrar has been asked to defend himself on the allegations against him which has really affected the efficiency of CRFFN.
Ogunojemite who equally thanked the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for allowing the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry to wade into the allegations, stated that any attempt to cover or downplay the findings by the Ministry would further diminish the confidence of freight forwarders in the regulatory Council.
“We are all aware of the allegation of misappropriation of funds and how the Council is being run generally that is not helping our industry especially before and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The freight forwarding public has been facing lots of problems in the maritime industry and we expected the Council to be of help but they didn’t help. Several allegations were made against the CRFFN Registrar ranging from transfers and lack of capacity building that we expected from him which have not been done. Since an investigation has been done, we can’t keep mute when CRFFN holds the key to better freight forwarding practice in Nigeria,” the APFFLON boss lamented.