A Former Governing Council Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Hakeem Olanrewaju has blamed the federal government for encouraging corruption in government agencies using CRFFN as a case study.
The former CRFFN boss made his position known in a statement obtained by our correspondent where he lampooned the over bloated 2021 budget for CRFFN which has a total of N2.9billion slated for projects.
He accused the federal government of massively corrupting the leadership of the freight forwarders and CRFFN by endorsing the inflated project contracts and white elephant projects.
“Practitioners now find it more profitable to do everything humanly possible to get elected into the Governing Council rather than face their professional practices. this growing trend is dangerous and this albatross has to be stopped,” the Former CRFFN boss said.
Olanrewaju argued that as a Regulatory Council for professionals, CRFFN didn’t need the gigantic buildings as headquarters and zonal structures that have been used to siphon monies in recent years.
He said, “From what is obtainable elsewhere amongst the comity of freight forwarding nations, we do not really need the gigantic edifices (tagged headquarters & zonal administrative offices and institutes) being put in place.”
“What governs a professional Council is the principle of discipline, transparency, moderation and prudence; especially when it comes to financial management and not the spirit of negligence, squandering and recklessness. We ought to be careful and conscious of the fact that our budgets should correspond with our yearly income via subscriptions, enforcement of regulatory sanctions, sales of professional publications, professional levies, donations, corporate brand materials, etc.”
MMS Plus obtained a breakdown of the 2021 Budget Appropriation for CRFFN, purely on projects, excluding concurrent budgets such as salaries and office administrations.
Some of the projects include: ERGP22112633 Insurance Premium Ongoing at N250,000,000, ERGP27112619 Construction of Nigerian Institute of Freight Forwarding/ Rehabilitation of Lagos Office Building Ongoing at N720,000,000:00, ERGP27112653 Construction of Outpost Offices across the Border Stations in the Country – Ongoing at N50,000,000;00, ERGP27134169 Development and Construction of Headquarters Office Complex- Ongoing at N1,013,670,259:00.
Other projects include; ERGP27139504 Designs of the Six Zonal Offices in the Geopolitical zones Ongoing at N50,000,000:00, ERGP29112648 Automation of the Council’s Operational and Revenue Collection (TSA) System including Software – Ongoing at N40,000,000:00, ERGP30134185 Subscription to International Bodies like FIATA & TIACA – Ongoing at N40,000,000:00, ERGP30134190 Development of Six Zonal Offices in the Geopolitical zones-Ongoing at N356,594,818:00, ERGP78712460 Capacity Building for Freight Forwarders on Improving Nigeria’s Competitiveness through Logistics Programme Index New at N150,000,000;00.
There is also ERGP78712460 Monitoring and Evaluation of Council’s Capital Projects at N120,000,000:00, ERGP78712460 Evaluation of Council’s Operations by the Governing Board and its Meetings at N100,000,000:00, ERGP78712460 Corporate Social Responsibility at N50,000,000:00; with the total amounting to N2,940, 265,077:00.
Speaking further on the CRFFN 2021 budget, Olanrewaju noted that the CRFFN yearly budgetary is far above that of FIATA, describing it as an irony of professional inclination.