Segun Oladipupo |
There is a repressed animosity between the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barrister Sam Nwakohu and the governing body of the council over tenure elongation.
In the wake of the clandestine moves of the third council members to perpetuate themselves in office, Barrister Nwakohu was said to have advised them to relinquish their office as their tenure has ended.
It would be recalled that the present crop of the council members were inaugurated by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi in October, 2018 for a two-year term in office.
But since their term ended, the members have engaged in series of inordinate moves to elongate their stay in office.
One of such moves was the push for the ammendment to the Act of the Council where they sought for 4- year term.
This has drawn the irk of critical stakeholders who accused them of insincerity.
However, sources close to the council have claimed that the Registrar may have joined the teeming industry stakeholders who are asking the sit-tight council members to quit.
It was learnt that this has resulted to a cold war of attrition between the Registrar, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Council and the governing council members.
Those who are supposed to know told our correspondent that the council members have countered the move of the Registrar to pull the rug off their feet.
It was further gathered that the council members are allegedly hell bent to stay put in order to recoup the money they expended on their elections.
A source close to the Council who prefers anonymity, said that the members were yet to get any substantial sum of money to make up for the money spent during their election as their sitting allowances are nothing to write home about.
The source further claimed that members of the board had allegedly spent nothing less than N500,000.00 each on purchase of forms, aside campaign posters, among other things.
The source pointed out that the Council members had not sat for more than four times since the inauguration of the board in 2018 by the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Hon.Rotimi Amaechi.
One of the ways they allegedly hoped to recoup the election expenses is the controvesial collection of the Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) which has been roundly resisted by angry freight forwarders who accused the Council members of gross incompetence whose tenure has not imparted on their lives.
The board members have also been accused of misinterpreting the Act establishing the Council to suit their tenure elongation plan.
In a twisted interpretation of the Act, a Council member, had claimed that the Act establishing the Council stipulates four years term for elected members and two years for appointed members.
This claim has however been faulted.
Prince Bajare Adeyinka, one of the members of the Council, said he was not aware of anybody spending money during the CRFFN board membership election.
Adeyinka, who said that he has not collected up to hundred thousand naira from CRFFN since being part of the board, added that the board members are fighting so that what belongs to the Practitioners do not go into the pockets of few individuals.
Adeyinka, who doubles as the President General of National Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC), explained that Council members have no sinister motive but seeking improvement of the profession in Nigeria.
His words, “I am not aware anybody spent money for election and that POF is one of the reasons why CRFFN was established and they should not forget that it is not something new in the profession.
“Some people are collecting it and people are not benefitting from it and they are living large from it.
“What that money was supposed to do was to train professionals and you know the people collecting the money will fight so that CRFFN will not be able to collect it.
“As we talk now, no Nigerian is handling any project cargo, that is what we are fighting for. Me as a person, I have never collected one hundred naira from CRFFN
“People keep talking about money, I have not gone to any meeting with CRFFN for the past six to seven months, is that the money we are spending?
“As far as I know this year, CRFFN has zero allocation, is that the money we are going to spend?” he queried.
However, it is yet to be seen if the CRFFN governing council will give way for another election that will usher in the fourth governing council members.