The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has admonished freight forwarding associations dissatisfied with it to adopt legal statutory provisions for dispute resolution or face expulsion.
The Chairman, CRFFN Governing Council, Mr. Abubakar Tsanni stated this during a press briefing in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Tsanni said; “I wish to specifically draw your attention to Sections 19 and 20 of the CRFFN Act (Profesional Misconduct and Discipline) Regulations, 2010 which forbids any aggrieved Freight Forwarder, Association of Freight Forwarders, Professional Body/ Institution and Training Institution not to take their complaints against each other and/or the CRFFN to the Public and Press without exhausting the statutory channels provided by CRFFN in resolving disputes have recourse to court action”
This development follows the recent statement by the Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Boniface Aniebonam who insists that NAGAFF would drag the court suit over CRFFN’s status as a government agency to the Supreme Court.
The CRFFN Governing Council emphasised that the penalties for such actions are clearly spelt out in Section 20 of CRFFN Act.
“The penalty is outright expulsion and the name struck out from the register of CRFFN. All complaints should be addressed to the Chairman, Freight Forwarders Disciplinary Tribunal at CRFFN headquarters and offices nationwide” Tsanni said.
Also speaking with journalists at the conference, CRFFN’s Registrar, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu assured that there wasn’t a permanent quarrel in the Governing Council or between the Council and Freight Forwarding associations.
He also debunked claims that CRFFN was planning to delist NAGAFF over their court case.
“There are laid down procedures for everything. If any association feels aggrieved or dissatisfied, it has to use the internal dispute resolution as set out by law before taking it out” he explained.
Noting that the court case had lingered over the years and deliberated at the High Court, Barr. Nwakohu said CRFFN wasn’t depriving NAGAFF or any association of the right to seek clarification from the courts.
However, he stated that “the problem is that they (NAGAFF) went to ask the National Assembly not to treat a matter we brought before them because of the court case.”
Nwakohu expressed optimism that CRFFN would build on the modest achievements recorded in 2019 by next year, even as he commended the Governing Council for its role on guiding the agency aright.
He noted that CRFFN had concluded findings on the opportunities available to freight forwarders in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), as a summit would be organized in the first quarter of 2020 for that purpose.