Segun Oladipupo |
Freight forwarders, under the aegis of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers-Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC) have called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to probe the activities of past and present governing council members of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding of Nigeria (CRFFN) for irregularities and misappropriation of funds.
SNFFIEC wondered why the Council members would expend whooping N35 million on each car for members despite complaints of lack of funds to execute its core responsibilities, adding that it has contributed nothing to the coffers of the federal government.
National Coordinator of SNFFIEC, Chief Osita Chukwu Patrick told journalists in Lagos that the anti-graft agencies should probe the activities of both past and present board members for clarity on how funds allocated to the Council were expended.
He alleged that some past governing council members are in possession of government properties after exiting office, noting that operational activities of CRFFN is questionable and must be subjected to scrutiny by the anti-graft agencies.
Patrick also frowned at the poor performance of past and present governing council members to train practitioners with modern technique in freight forwarding practice, adding that capacity building for operators should have been the focal point of CRFFN existence and not buying of exotic cars.
Going further, the SNFFIEC boss tackled the Council for failure to deliver on its mandate and provide succor for freight forwarders.
“CRFFN has not grown as agency of government to the stage of buying Toyota Hilux and Jeeps for board members, when it is yet to fully realise its mandates of capacity building.
He said, “CRFFN has not shown any single thing regarding the delivery of its mandate to the people. For that reason, we are disappointed. Especially me that is having this press conference today. That is how bad it is.
“Freight forwarders are roasting. Those they working for including the government are robust. We are dying. It takes somebody three months minimum to get a paper called Bill of Lading. You might be going to someone for six months and they will not listen to you.
“After six months, the person will now give you a Bill of lading and that bill of lading contains your cargo and you will perfect what you need to perfect. If that cargo gets to a place, you will be frustrated. You will not be able to make anything of your effort in six months and then you will start again.”
As a result, Patrick revealed that several industries have collapsed while several licenses have been taken away due to the council’s failure.
He asked that the current crop of council members be removed while the professionals who know the technicalities of the business be allowed to be part of the council through election.
It was gathered that some members of the council had sought tenure elongation which brought an uproar among practitioners in the freight forwarding sub-sector of the maritime industry.
CRFFN was established in 2007 by an act of parliament mainly to train and retrain freight forwarders in Nigeria
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