CREFFPON Task Registrar on Neutrality
Rejects Freight Forwarders Forum Posturing
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
The last is yet to be heard concerning the controversy trailing the proposed Governing Council Board election of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), as the Congregation of Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria (CREFFPON), throws yet another dart.
CREFFPON in a statement by its Desk Officer, Comrade Edwin Chukwudire Obi, made available to our reporter has asked the CRFFN Registrar, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu to behave and to shun tendencies that promotes partiality in the electioneering process.
This is even as the group have also frowned at a move purportedly to protest professional abuses in the CRFFN allegedly by the Freight Forwarders Forum; describing such efforts as self serving, and insulting to the collective intelligence of practitioners.
CREFFPON said it has uncovered some ugly episode akin to acts of unholy alliance between the Registrar and some Delegates, seeking to smuggle into the current election, a questionable element of the 6:6:1:1:1 sharing formula between member associations.
He group warned those involved in the act to immediately jettison the idea, and join in efforts to midwife and deliver a credible election that will convey the necessary professional courtesies on the industry and practitioners.
In its statement, CREFFPON said it has come by information that Nwakeho and some delegates were mooting the idea of introducing the 6:6:1:1:1 sharing formula, and seeking to get Chibuike Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation’s buy-in through the back door.
“Information reaching the CREFFPON desk as incidental by its data collation, monitoring and intelligent group shows that, there is a further clandestine moves aimed at perpetuating the 6:6:1:1:1 sharing formula arrangement of the accredited associations introduced in 2018 .
“The purported emergency visit today to the CRFFN Registrar at his Lagos office was meant to convey two resolutions reached by the accredited associations. The delegates are to fore-mostly remind the Registrar of a certain existing document in the realm of 6:6:1:1:1 position and income sharing agreements entered into by the accredited associations two years ago.
“Secondly, the delegates are to convey its joint resolutions with regards to upholding the selected election procedures via a sharing formula of 6:6:1:1:1 introduced in 2018.
“Thirdly, the Registrar is to serve as a channel for onward transmission of same to the Honorable Minister of Transportation through the Ministry Permanent Secretary.”
Repudiating the plot, the group said, “It is important to remind the Registrar that adoption of this selection pattern -( election sharing formula of 6:6:1:1:1) by his predecessor, made his tenure to be rated as monumental failure.”
The statement further states: “Wherefore, the CREFFPON wishes to advise the Registrar to put into consideration its Professional background first in any arms twisting arrangements or permutations. The Registrar is further urged to maintain an unbiased umpire and respect the free and open contest position of the Minister.
“It is most regrettable to observe that while it is easier and most convenient for the accredited associations to unite themselves for election purposes, the same cannot be said, where it matters most for them to unite towards tackling the multifarious challenges be-devilling the freight forwarding profession and practitioners alike.”
The statement also spurned suggestion reportedly by some stakeholders for those behind CREFFPON to unveil their identity, noting that the message and not the messenger is necessary at this material time.
“In another development, the CREFFPON attention has been drawn to the recent strange and familiar calls and enquires as to who are the leaders of the CREFFPON, etc.”
It’s says “the vision, aim and objectives of CREFFPON movement is not honed from abstract concept. Instead, it is derived from historical adoptable declarations of similar international movements like *ZAPATISMO* spearheaded by the Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919)
“ZAPATISMO has an influential tradition whose emphasis is on the restoration of rights of the oppressed, dispossessed and the agitation against social injustice.
“In the same manner, *CREFFPON* is advocating that the freight forwarding profession belong to those professionals who practice it and not non-professionals and politicians.”
Speaking on the said freight forwarders forum to challenge acts of professional abuses, CREFFPON said those purportedly agitating now were partakers of the same abuses, who having lost out are turning around to play the victim and the saint.
The group’s press release titled RE: FREIGHT FORWARDERS FORUM, WITH THE THEME: “WAY FORWARD ON CHALLENGES MILITATING AGAINST CARGO CLEARANCE – A PROFESSIONAL BRIBE AIMED TO DIVERT AND DISCOURAGE THE PRACTITIONERS FROM PROTESTING AGAINST PROFESSIONAL ABUSES, has created yet another critical episode on the crusading role of CREFFPON.
It says, “The attention of the Congregation of Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria has been drawn to the above poster containing the subject matter under reference.
“As far as CREFFPON is concerned, this invitation is an outright insult and mockery of the intelligence of the freight forwarding Practitioners in Nigeria.
“Since the conscription of its united 6:6:1:1:1 sharing formula during the 2018 election, the conscriptors never saw the need to call for a consultative town hall meeting of the practitioners to thinker the way forward aimed at addressing the myriads of challenges faced by the freight forwarders in the course of effecting cargo clearance from the customs ports, terminal operators, shipping lines, etc.
“Another election season is here, in other to further its 6:6:1:1:1 selection pattern called election, it suddenly woke up from slumber to patronize and cajole the freight forwarders by convening a hasty town hall meeting without recourse.
“The town hall meeting surely will end up like the similar ones jointly held at the chapter executives’ level, for the obvious reasons that, majority of the leaders are feeding fat from the spoilt system and some of them are actually causative agent of the spoilt systems.
“They lacked the will and moral power to address the myriads of challenges be-devilling the profession and the professionals alike.”
It argued that the Council For the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria ( CRFFN) enabling Act provide three categories of professional membership registration with the Council, namely: a). Individual Membership registration; b).Corporate Membership registration and Professional Association Membership registration (hence, Accreditation).
The group explained that while categories a & b are subject to the payment of Registration and annual subscription to the CRFFN, it is not so with the Accredited associations.
“In an ideal professional regulatory setting, you don’t accredit a professional Association as a regulated entity and it turns around to be the regulator while the regulator now seat on the chair of the regulated.
“Accredited associations that does not pay for its Registration and annual subscription fee, does not have the moral capacity to propose a sharing formula 6:6:1:1:1 selection pattern in the name of an election into the Governing Council Board of the CRFFN.”
To guide against any mischief, CREFFPON however urged freight forwarders to turn up enmass at the said town hall meeting, and ask leaders to state their stewardship of the past two years to the freight service.
“It is an opportunity to look into the eyes of the leaders and tell them the home truth and not but the truth.”