Chairman of the Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria CRFFN, Tsanni Abubakar has said that there are no plans to elongate the tenure of the board, amid strong speculations to the contrary.

The 15-man board elected from five freight forwarding associations in July 2018, was inaugurated by the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi in October, 2018. The tenure of the board is therefore expected to elapse in September 2020 in line with the provisions of the CRFFN Act 2007, which prescribes a two-year renewable tenure for the board.

The chairman, who spoke in an interview, however said though there are no plans for tenure elongation, he is not certain as to when fresh elections into the board would hold, insisting that that would be determined by the Minister.

While reacting to allegations of clandestine moves by the board to have the National Assembly amend the CRFFN Act to enable it elongate their tenure to four years, he noted that though the Act is due for review, having been enacted over 10 years ago, however insisted that the board has no such powers to dictate to the legislative arm when it will be amended.

“We have no plans to extend our tenure; we have no reason to even do that. I believe that we have played our part and so should give others opportunity to come and contribute their quota to the development of the freight forwarding profession in particular and the maritime industry in general.

“As members of the governing board, we are not in a position to dictate to the National Assembly as to when to amend any law in the country and for the election, the Minister through the Ministry of Transport would determine that”, he said.

Meanwhile, some members of the associations, who spoke on the speculated tenure elongation, noted that it might not be a bad idea, arguing that the outbreak of the coronavirus, which led to the lockdown of many economies across the globe, including Nigeria’s ate deep into the two-year tenure.

They also argued that allowing the current board to remain in office for at least another one year would bring a level of stability to the council that is just emerging from a protracted crisis for over seven years.

Recall that there have been speculations that the board members were behind a botched secret public hearing at the National Assembly scheduled for May 12 and later May 18, 2020, which was later suspended indefinitely.

It was speculated that the plan, among several others, was to instigate an amendment of the section of the CRFFN Act that prescribes two- year tenure to four years beginning with the current board.

Part of the scheme was to enable current board members partake in the spending of the Practitioners Operating Fees POF, which they midwifed its collection after more than seven years of several failed attempts to commence the collection of the fee, which was resisted by some members of the five associations.