Stopping Government Funding To CRFFN Will Help Freight Forwarders Take Back Their Council- Tanko Ibrahim

Stopping Government Funding To CRFFN Will Help Freight Forwarders Take Back Their Council- Tanko Ibrahim

Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko is the National Coordinator of the 100% Compliance Team of the National Association of Government-Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF).

In this interview, Tanko expressed delight at the decision of the federal government to stop funding agencies like the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), a development that he disclosed will assist the freight forwarders to take back their council.

He also urged the President to appoint someone who is conversant with the Maritime Industry as the Minister for Transportation. Excerpts

As The Country Awaits The Appointment Of Ministers, What Kind Of Transport Minister Should President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Appoints For The Industry?

We are hoping our President to appoint a minister who is conversant with the maritime industry and I’m expecting something like that to happen and it will happen.

As you can see, the President is not in a rush to appoint any minister now as he is consulting widely, my prayer is that we should have a Minister of Transport who has experience in the maritime industry, that is all I am praying for so that we will not have a repeat of what happened in the past.

Recently, There Has Been Talk About The Merger Of Revenue Generating Agencies In Nigeria. What Is Your Take On This?

I’m not in support of the merger of revenue-generating agencies in the country, because in revenue generation, each agency has its own training and you cannot merge them  because they have different functions.  

You can imagine merging Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)? They have different functions. So, it will not be an easy task at a time that we are looking to move Nigeria forward.

To start talking about merging the agencies, we will now be talking about fresh training on how to move forward, so, for now, things should remain as they are, I am not in support of that.

On The Appointment Of The New Comptroller General Of Customs, How Can He Achieve The Mandate Of Trade Facilitation?

The good thing is that we have a customs officer as the CG of Customs, not a police officer or a soldier that has been brought in, he knows the Customs in and out, and that is the number one advantage. He should know the proper way to move Customs forward.

And in terms of the issue of revenue and trade facilitation, I believe the man will get it right.

What Is Your Take On The Decision Of The Federal Government To Stop Funding For Some Agencies Like The CRFFN?

It is a good one. Everyone should fund themselves. Let me give you an example, CRFFN is an organization that belongs to freight forwarders alone.

It is not supposed to be a board of government agency, if you look at the name, it is specifically made for freight forwarders and there is a Practitioners Operation Fee (POF) being collected, that POF is enough to take care of that council, so, the council can generate funds for itself.

This development will also help us freight forwarders in taking our board back, this is our prayer, too. We want to take our council back. We will not be waiting for a Permanent Secretary or Minister or any government appointee, the council is only for elected members of freight forwarders.

 You Have Been A Member Of The Council For Some Time Now, Can You Assess The Progress Or The Performance Of The Council So Far?

I am a member of NAGAFF, the National Coordinator of NAGAFF’s 100% Compliance Team. I am also a member of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN). I am not happy with the way the council is going presently. Yes, I am not happy. The council is not doing well. As a member of the council, I am not even happy. I am not happy because this is not what we promise our members. But it is not our fault. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation is the one. She is not helping matters.

Is It Because Of This, You Are Not Comfortable With The Council?

Yes, she is the one dragging the council backward. And for that reason, we (the council members) have decided to be quiet. We minimize the way we do things now and the way we talk and have been watching. Do you understand? If the Perm Sec has an issue with the Governing Board Chairman, that should not affect the running of the Council. But for now, we are waiting for the new minister to be appointed to the Transport Ministry so that we can approach our problems through political ways.

Is This Part Of What Is Delaying The Appointment Of The New Registrar For The Council?

Yes. That is part of what is delaying the appointment of the new registrar. It is. The whole thing is from the Perm Sec. If they have appointed the minister, you would have seen the whole thing moving forward. That is what is delaying the progress of the council. But if they want the Acting Registrar to continue, they should confirm her. If you are going to appoint another person, let her do it, but you can see that we are all stagnant like water.

For now, let’s watch and see the emergence of the new Minister of Transportation, that is when I will speak. But for now, I will not speak.

On The Side Of Council Members, Are They Functioning As Expected?

Yes, they are working as expected. But the truth is that you cannot work without the Perm Sec.

As the National Coordinator of NAGAFF’s Compliance Team, Tell Us More About Your Recent Actions And Activities. How You Have Been Going About Them?

We are doing our best to sanitize the industry and our members too. You know the task is not easy but we are trying our best. We are not relenting at all. And if you know me, I am not relenting, and I will not relent in bringing sanity to the association.

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