By Francis Ugwoke
The election into the Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has thrown practitioners into serious crisis following clash of interests being displayed by the gladiators.
The election which is slated for October appears to have been postponed indefinitely in what is considered to be as a result of discordant tones among the freight forwarders.
First, the big associations, led by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) want participation in the election to be through registered associations in which those seeking election must be members.
But some freight forwarders fearing they may not get the nomination of their associations are against this arrangement and have been working underground to ensure that this requirement is dropped.
It was gathered that following this, the Committee responsible for the screening of the candidates for the election has decided to suspend the exercise in what may mean that the election date of October 9 may not be possible.
A source close to the Committee said it wants to ensure that associations and their members resolve their logjam in terms of who qualifies to vie for the election before the screening exercise will resume at unannounced date.
Incidentally, the chieftains of the associations believe that the suspension of the screening exercise may have to do with complaints about the non-involvement of enough secretariat staff as well as the date of the election as responsible for the latest development.
But this was not the case, SHIPPING DAY was informed authoritatively.
It was gathered that a good number of freight forwarders interested in the election were barred from contesting the CRFFN Board election either directly or indirectly through the imposition of huge sums of money to be paid as pre-qualification requirement to have the mandate of the associations.
For instance, one of the associations had imposed the sum of N10million for any member interested in the election.
When a protest arose among two outstanding members of the associations, the fee was relaxed to N5million, a development which the affected individuals felt was still without human face.
The affected individuals were said to have dared the associations and secured the CRFFN Board election forms to contest the election.
It was gathered that this infuriated the leadership of the association who is not comfortable with the conduct of the two big members.
The affected individuals are egg heads in the industry who are well respected professionals, but careful not to incur the wrath of some godfathers.
Meanwhile, a stakeholders’ forum is being organised by freight forwarders during which a number of issues on CRFFN and the election will feature.
By Francis Ugwoke