The two factions of the Association of Nigerian Customs Licensed Agents(ANLCA) have agreed to strike a truce with the decision of the Conflict Resolution Committee set up at the behest of the Minister of Transportation, Engr Muazu Sambo by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria(CRFFN).
The minister’s directive was disclosed by the CRFFN Governing Board chairman, Abubakar Tsanni, at the inauguration of the committee in Lagos, saying the committee was expected to unearth the underlying factors that led to the conflicts and proffer recommendations before September 7th, 2022.
Members of the Conflict Resolution Committee include officials of the Transport Ministry, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), CRFFN, veteran freight forwarders and some members of the CRFFN Governing Board
Speaking with MMS Plus, the Acting President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto said his group would submit to the decision of the Conflict Resolution Committee, saying members of the committee are men of honour. He narrated how his faction of the association had pursued peace since assuming office four years ago but the opposition group was always frustrating the efforts, adding that if they had enforced the four different judgments in their favour the members of the other group would have been in jail by now.
From the other camp, the former National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Joe Sanni, who initially exercised some reservations on the membership of the Committee on account that two key protagonists in their opposition group are members of the CRFFN Governing Board, conceded to lifting the olive branch unconditionally, but emphasizing that the Committee should ensure that justice and fairness are upheld in their decision.
Tsanni had said ANLCA, with over 3000 members and massive revenue generated for the federal government, should be providing leadership worthy of emulation for freight forwarding associations.
He said, “ I discussed with the Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Sambo, on this ANLCA crisis and he supported this initiative to have a Conflict Resolution Committee. The Minister also said that we keep him abreast with the developments and resolutions by the Committee.
He continued, “It is unfortunate that this ANLCA crisis has been ongoing for over 4 years and all efforts to resolve it have been futile. CRFFN, as the regulator of all freight forwarding associations, has decided to step up to resolve these issues. We will do our best to address the problems in such a manner that the two factions will be satisfied with the resolutions of the Council.”
According to him, the Committee will also explore the roles of Nigerian Police and the judiciary in the ANLCA fracas in a bid to prevent further conflicts on the issue.
Tsanni noted that the Committee was given six days to make its findings and recommendations with a view to deliberating on the resolutions at the next CRFFN Governing Board meeting scheduled to hold on September 8th, 2022.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the ANLCA Crisis Resolution Committee, Alhaji Abba Yusuf thanked the CRFFN Governing Board for the responsibility, stating that the Committee’s task is clear and can be categorized in two parts.
“The first part is to find out the history of the crisis to know what really happened and the other part is to make recommendations. We will discuss with both factions. We have veteran freight forwarders and distinguished personalities on this Committee. We will do a thorough job and hopefully resolve these conflicts.”
“As the foremost freight forwarding association in the country, ANLCA shouldn’t be in such a state of conflict in leadership. We will do our best and not operate with any bias,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Media and Publicity at the CRFFN Governing Board, Hon. Muftahu Ya’u stressed that all future disputes among freight forwarders should utilize the dispute resolution mechanisms enshrined in the CRFFN Act.
“The Council has conflict resolution mechanisms which include bringing such issues to the Investigative panel of CRFFN whose membership include officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). We also have our tribunal that looks into matters affecting freight forwarders. However, the case of ANLCA started before these mechanisms were properly instituted. With these mechanisms, we hope that all warring factions will find solutions within,” he posited.