Chairman, Governing Board of CRFFN, Tsanni Abubakar

Strong indications emerged that a fresh crisis may be imminent at the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria CRFFN over the alleged sidelining of the elected members of the Governing Board, who are mainly practicing freight forwarders by the few Federal Government appointees.  

This is coming less than six months after the new Governing Board election was held in July 2019, having operated for over six years without a board, the decision making arm of the CRFFN, as the tenure of the last council members expired in 2012. This development almost crippled the council, as it was not able to carry out its primary statutory responsibility of regulating the industry and training practitioners over the period.

The CRFFN had on July 9, 2019 elected a total of 15 freight forwarders to represent the five associations comprising six for the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, six for the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF, while the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agent NCMDLCA, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria AREFFN and  National Association of Air Freight Forwarding and Consolidator NAFFAC, have one representative apiece..

Competent sources hinted that the elected board members, who are in the majority, are not being carried along in many vital decision making processes by the very few members appointed by the government.

It was also gathered that at the top of this alleged division is the chairman of the council, Abubakar Tsanni, who sources believe is acting a script written by the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi.

The sources also disclosed that many of the associations are not satisfied with the sidelining their representatives on board of the council and have sworn to resist it with the last drop of blood in their veins, an indication that the council might be in for a fresh round of crisis.

A member of one the associations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “We will not sit here and allow anybody to destroy the council we have fought over the years to establish and sustain. You know that the CRFFN had no board for over six years and we had to fight all the forces to address this lacuna and we had to diminish our individual pride and ambitions to ensure that the election was conducted”.

He noted that the associations will have to speak with one voice on this matter, arguing that it is the practicing freight forwarders that would ultimately lose in the event the council is not able to perform its statutory functions for which it was created.

Meanwhile when contacted on phone to get the reaction of the council on these allegations, Public Relations Officer of the council, Chinyere Uranta said she was in a meeting and so could not comment on the issues.

I am in a meeting, call me back in the evening, “I am not even in Lagos a-ah, a-ah!”, she had shouted on phone.

Recall that following the election of the 15 freight forwarders into the governing board as required by the CRFFN Act, 2007, these elected officers had kicked against the moves by the government to ensure that one its appointees contested and win the chairmanship position of the board, describing it as illegal but the government had its way.