Nigerian freight forwarders have registered their displeasure over the total exclusion of practicing freight forwarders among recipients of the recent National Awards dished out by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Freight Agents under the aegis of Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) made this known in a press statement disseminated yesterday.
The group lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari conferred national awards on individuals from various professionals and vocations including officers of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), but neglected those who are behind the revenue generated by Customs and several other government agencies operating at the ports.
According to APFFLON, the snub by President Buhari has shown that the immense contribution and input of freight forwarders to national economy is not appreciated and recognised.
Recall that Buhari on October 11, 2022, honoured over 437 nominees with various categories of Awards in recognition of their contributions to the growth and development of the country as part of activities to mark Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary.
The National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite said that the exclusion of freight forwarders among recipients of any of the categories of the national honour is an attestation that the immense contribution of the sub sector to the national economy is not appreciated by the government.
He further blamed the non-recognition of freight forwarders on the infighting and lingering disunity amongst the practitioners especially the protracted crises rocking the boat of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the foremost association in the ports industry.
His words: “Nigerians and foreigners from different fields of endeavour were nominated for national awards and no single freight forwarder made the list, which means that our contributions to the economic development of our dear country is not appreciated, we have freight forwarders who have distinguished themselves as professionals and as worthy Nigerians; lke Prince Olayiwola Shittu, Chief Ernest Elochukwu, Aare Akeem Olanrewaju, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, Chief Taiye Oyeniyi, Chief Tijani Tijako, Chief Henry Njoku, Chief Tony Iju Nwabunike to mention a few.”
“I think there is no better time for practitioners in the ports industry to build a platform that will foster unity than now, we need to chart a new course and in one voice, drive home our demands. If recipients of the national awards could be chosen from different fields why exclude the freight forwarding sub sector?”
“Does it mean we don’t have even one person from the sub-sector that deserves a National Honour? For me, it does not portray us in good light, but l strongly believe that the non inclusion of a single freight forwarder among the National Awards recipients does not in anyway erase the fact that the sub sector is unarguably, one of the economic pillars of the country.”