- Outlines illegalities at CRFFN in letter to Minister
The Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has written to Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, lamenting numerous complaints described as “corrupt practices and massive illegalities” at the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and fraudulent associations.
According to the group, officials of the Transport Ministry and the CRFFN grossly flouted the CRFFN Act over the years by engaging CRFFN registered associations without any provision for individual members and corporate bodies despite the CRFFN Act recognising three (3) categories of membership; associations, companies and individuals.
The letter, with reference number: APFFLON/HQ/FMT/Vol:2.22, dated September 9th, 2022 and signed by President of APFFLON, Mr. Frank Ogunojemite, also urged the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo to direct the delisting of all CRFFN accredited associations on account of non-payment of subscriptions.
APFFLON beckoned on the Minister to disclose findings on the investigations on numerous atrocities allegedly perpetuated by the Registrar of CRFFN, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu; lamenting that industry stakeholders, especially freight forwarders have been dissatisfied with the Ministry’s unwillingness to reveal the recommendations proposed since June last year.
Part of the letter read: “It should be noted that POF is paid by individuals and companies, yet there is no platform for these categories of legitimately CRFFN registered individuals and companies to get POF settlements that the monopolistic associations have been sharing.”
“This continuous marginalization of CRFFN Registered Individual members and corporate bodies is stoking a high degree of dissent that could evolve into a protest against CRFFN in the near future, even as it is a grossly illegal act that would soon land the agency in litany of litigations.”
“APFFLON recalls that in June 2021, the Ministry of Transportation began investigations on the numerous atrocities allegedly perpetuated by the Registrar of CRFFN, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu; but industry stakeholders, especially freight forwarders, are still awaiting the revelation of the findings of the Ministry.”
“Nwakohu was accused of employing thirteen (13) ghost workers, seizing workers allowances in excess of N15million and other financial misappropriation. He was said to have single-handedly organized a fake training for selected CRFFN officials that cost N109million.”
The group argued that anomalies raised in the petition against the CRFFN Registrar are too grave to ignore, even as it said it is aware that Mr. Muhiy-deen Awwal, Director, Human Resources Management, Ministry of Transportation headed a Committee that concluded a report on the matter, last year.
“It has been alleged that Nwakohu was found guilty but exonerated on account of his closeness to the former Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. However, we do expect that as a crusader of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration of transparency and accountability, Engr. Sambo’s Transport Ministry will reveal the findings and take appropriate actions on this matter,” APFFLON said.
Describing the current CRFFN associations as fraudulent, the group maintained that there is no compliant registered association at CRFFN going by the Council’s Act as none of the associations have been up-to-date with their subscriptions.
“The CRFFN Act stipulates that associations that don’t pay dues for a period of six months should be deregistered. Let us bring to your notice that all five CRFFN registered associations have violated this as they haven’t paid their subscriptions for over six years.”
“Consequently, the ideal thing should be to deregister these associations to show willingness to enforce the CRFFN Act. It is also unfortunate that the CRFFN Governing Board, which should be enforcing this, has done nothing about it over the years. Perhaps, this is because majority of the Governing Board members are sponsored candidates of these fraudulent associations. It is also sad and shocking that these associations which wouldn’t pay their subscriptions to CRFFN have begun receiving N200,000 monthly stipends from CRFFN as part of Practitioners Operating Fees (POF).”