By Kenneth Jukpor
A former Chairman of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Aare Hakeem Olanrewaju has commended the Ministry of Transportation for its decision to postpone the Governing Council elections of CRFFN.
Olanrewaju made this known in a press release issued yesterday, where he specially appreciated the efforts of the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani for her motherly in role in managing the intrigues of the impending CRFFN polls.
“Madam Permanent Secretary, having listened to your reasons that prompted your official postponement of the inadequately structured electioneering processes for electing the 15 practicing Freight Forwarders into the CRFFN Governing Council, namely to the series of online news reports that trailed the election notice and on the discovery that there was no formal stakeholders engagements or interactive session before rolling out the electoral guidelines and time table, indeed there is a proof that you are a seasoned and listening administrator per excellence,” the veteran freight forwarder said.
He, however, lamented that the abysmal performance that trailed the past governing council, wasn’t just a result of having practitioners with little or no commitments towards the development of the profession but a major impediment stemmed from the number of the appointed politicians representing the geopolitical zones on the CRFFN Governing Board.
To address this challenge, he encouraged the Permanent Secretary to look at the existing misgivings and be resolute with her earlier position that credible Freight forwarders should be allowed to contest professional election with or without accredited professional Association inclination or membership.
Olanrewaju argued that there would be need to dissipate the power of associations’ leaders in the administration of the CRFFN, noting that some of the administrative challenges the first and second governing council contended with, was the subtle moves to take over regulatory powers from the Governing Council members and the management team by associations.
“The CRFFN Act recognizes three (3) types of membership (Individual membership, Corporate membership and Associations Membership), ideally both category of members are prone to the payment of registration and annual subscription fees regulatory provision and processes. Sadly, in the realism of a regulatory compliance and enforcement wise, only the Corporate and Individual Membership pays both Membership Registration and Annual Subscription Fees to the CRFFN, while the Accredited Association stays aloof in comfort zones to teleguide the administration of the Governing Council. For instance, they are insisting and joining issues with the management on their due percentage from the POF collection,” he said.
He lamented that the accredited Associations bring nothing to the CRFFN table in terms of professional advancement other than fielding candidates that will oppose ideas that portend to change the status and continually joining issues with the management team.
Noting that accredited Associations are meant to serve as a professional pool of the CRFFN, he condemned their moves to make themselves equal with the CRFFN and even tussling power with the CRFFN leadership.
He also criticized sharing formula of 6:6:1:1:1 proposed by accredited Associations, opining that the pioneer Chairman of the CRFFN Governing Board who currently the National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike, wouldn’t have stood a chance if the sharing formula was in place in 2008.
“The accredited Associations by professional regulation don’t have the moral and professional temerity to talk about any election sharing formula and the POF sharing percentage when they are not compliant with the provisions of the regulations.”
“Paying attention to them under the present election quest, while they are owing for more than 10 years subscription fees in arrears and non official registration fee on the part of some of the accredited Associations is the height point of managerial weakness on the part of the Registrar of the CRFFN cum the supervising ministry. It is on this premise, that I stress the need to caution in strong terms,” Hakeem Olanrewaju said.