* Amaechi strives to cover-up Nwakohu’s frailties
* ‘Arrogant’, ‘Disrespectful’ Nwakohu deserves sacking – Freight Agents
* No CRFFN Governing Board at the moment – Nweke
By Kenneth Jukpor
Following the numerous allegations of financial embezzlement by the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barr. Samuel Nwakohu, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani has endorsed the sacking of the CRFFN Registrar.
MMS Plus gathered that the Permanent Secretary has written a memo recommending Nwakohu’s sack while the Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi is in a race against time to stop the impending sack of the CRFFN boss.
The CRFFN Governing Board, after thorough investigation of the allegations made a far-reaching submission and recommendations in an over 1000 pages report to the Minister, seeking the Registrar’s sack, refunds of all the misappropriated funds and prosecution through the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Besides financial recklessness, the CRFFN Registrar has also been lampooned for his overbearing disposition towards the leadership of freight forwarding associations, fellow Chief Executives of maritime agencies, his managerial team at CRFFN as well as the media.
Nwakohu, who was appointed Registrar of the Council in February 2019, has also come under serious criticism for his managerial style as the leadership of most freight forwarding associations as well as CRFFN Governing Council members have no confidence in him.
Recall that five members of the CRFFN management team had petitioned the Minister and CRFFN Governing Council Board alleging wanton embezzlement of funds by Registrar to the tune of over N300million out of which it was alleged that he spent a total of N36.6million as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on fake NGO and beauty pageant in Rivers State when he has refused to pay some maritime media a paltry advert bill of less than N10million for over two years.
Giving an appraisal of the personality and managerial style of Nwakohu at CRFFN, several port stakeholders including some maritime Chief Executives have described him as arrogant and extravagant.
Nwakohu has also been accused of disregarding the opinions of leaders of freight forwarding associations and other veterans who genuinely approached him to avail strategies for smooth administration of CRFFN.
The under-fire CRFFN boss had previously disregarded the Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), President of the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) and at several instances attacked journalists at press briefings.
During a dialogue with MMS Plus on the managerial style of Nwakohu, the President of APFFLON, Mr. Frank Ogunojemite described the CRFFN boss as too egoistic and lacking requisite qualities for a public servant.
Ogunojemite’s words: “I’m not shocked that Nwakohu is facing the numerous challenges confronting him today. This is because he doesn’t listen to advice. He wouldn’t even avail himself an opportunity to be counseled or seek direction from veterans in the practice. This is a man who said that he isn’t obliged to hold meetings with any freight forwarding association. Isn’t that an insane level of arrogance? Have you heard that at any point he had a strategic meeting with experts like the NAGAFF Founder, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, ANLCA President, Mr. Tony Iju Nwabunike or even the former ANLCA President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu? These are key players who thought about the idea of CRFFN and have played crucial roles in the existence of the Council but the CRFFN Registrar doesn’t think he should consult them because he thinks he knows it all. Nevertheless, stakeholder engagement should be the bedrock of success for an organization like CRFFN.”
The APFFLON boss also berated Nwakohu for his shoddy handling of the affairs of CRFFN, stressing that freight forwarders and other port stakeholders were yet to see any significant contribution since his appointment almost two years ago.
“If he does survive this mess, he ought to correct his autocratic attitude and respect people who are stakeholders in the industry, especially the emeritus that birthed the idea of CRFFN,” Ogunojemite added.
Our correspondent also gathered that that some Governing Council members of CRFFN have almost lynched the CRFFN boss on several occasions as a result of his haughty disposition and disregard for veterans.
His media aides, consultants and subordinates also lament that he is too arrogant and autocratic. This is believed to have sparked the internally crisis at CRFFN as bickering, sabotage and corruption hold sway at the agency.
Also speaking with MMS Plus, a former President of NAGAFF, Chief Eugene Nweke posited that the challenges facing the CRFFN boss would multiply as soon as the Governing Council members relinquish their roles.
Nweke, who expressed displeasure on the managerial style and fraudulent allegations emanating from CRFFN, also warned that it would be unwise for any CRFFN Governing Council member to keep parading themselves with the status as their tenures have expired.
“At the moment there is no Governing Council of CRFFN because that tenure has elapsed. The Act establishing CRFFN isn’t ambiguous and I don’t see why anyone should be parading himself as a Governing Council member after October 2020. The Council should be planning to conduct an election but there is no sign of that. In fact, a proactive Governing Board should have known when it was time for an election instead of waiting until the tenure elapsed. Proper planning should create a good transitional system such that once one Governing Board is dissolved a new one takes over without any break in administration,” Nweke said.
The Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam also recently described the Nwakohu-led CRFFN administration as one of the factors compounding the port sector woes in the country.
He faulted Nwakohu’s managerial strategy regarding the administration of Practitioners Operating Fees (POF) lamenting that he saw the latest directive to commence collection on the newspapers and via Nwakohu’s tweet.
“When CRFFN said POC collection had started, I saw it on the news and I reached out to the Chairman of the Governing Board and the Registrar. CRFFN later sent a letter to NAGAFF asking for support. Are they serious minded people one may ask?” Aniebonam queried.