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Clearing agents petition Minister over activities in CRFFN

Why CRFFN has failed to deliver on its mandate

Abiola Seun Clearing agents operating under the aegis of the Africa Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), has petitioned the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, over alleged corruption and fraudulent act in the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).In a petition with reference numbers; APFFLON/HQ/FMT/Vol:2.22, dated 9th of September 2022 and signed by President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, and a copy made available to newsmen, the association demanded investigation into the activities of the council under the Registrar, Barr Samuel Nwakohu.He alleged that though the CRFFN Act recognizes three categories of membership; which are associations, corporate bodies and individuals, officials of the Transport Ministry and the CRFFN have over the years, only recognized, visited and engaged CRFFN so called registered associations without any provision for individual members and corporate bodies.“It has become worrisome that all CRFFN functions and programs have seen the Council only invite freight forwarding associations, hence, leaving individuals and companies out of the crucial deliberations that affect all categories of membership.”The APFFLON President raised alarm that presently, the CRFFN have started sharing the proceeds of the Practitioners Operations Fee (POF) with only five registered associations at the rate of N200,000, thereby leaving out the individuals and corporate organizations.The associations benefiting according to him are; Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF); Association of Registered Freight Forwarders (AREFFN); Nigerian Airfreight Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC) and National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA).He, however, pointed out that the above mentioned five associations represents less than 40 percent of the entire freight forwarders in the country.“It should be noted that the said POF is paid by individuals and companies, yet there is no platform for these categories of legitimate CRFFN registered individuals and corporate bodies to benefit from the POF that the CRFFN has been sharing among the monopolistic associations parading themselves as registered associations.”“This continuous marginalization of CRFFN registered individual and corporate members is stoking a high degree of dissent that could evolve into a protest against CRFFN in the nearest future, even as it is a grossly illegal act that would soon land the agency in litany of litigations.Speaking on the alleged misappropriation by the CRFFN’s Registrar, Otunba Ogunojemite said, “The Registrar was alleged of employing 13 ghost workers, seized workers allowances in excess of N15million and other financial misappropriation.“He was said to have single handedly organized a fake training for selected CRFFN officials that cost N109million. Furthermore, aggrieved members of staff of the Council revealed all these in a petition sent tothe Chairman of the Governing Council of CRFFN and the Ministry of Transportation, as they accused the CRFFN’s Registrar of several financial misappropriations and discrimination againstmen.“The petition document dated August 20th, 2020 was signed by CRFFN top management staff including; the Deputy Director, Finance and Accounts, Dr. Abah George; Head of Internal Audit, Mr. Agor Gideon; Head of Research and Development, Mr. Leo Anigbo; Head of Administration/ Human Resources, Mr. Ben Ojumah; and the Head of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta.“Following the top issues of serious illegalities raised in the petition, the Transportation Ministry interrogated the CRFFN Registrar and the maritime public demand that the findings of theTransport Ministry be publicized because we are aware that Mr. Muhiy-deen Awwal, Director, Human Resources Management, Ministry of Transportation headed a Committee that concluded a report on this matter.”

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