The Premier freight forwarding association in Nigeria, the Association of Nigeria Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), has finally resolved its over 5 years crisis which had pitched the National Executive Committee (NECOM) against the Board of Trustees (BOT).
This was after a tension soaked Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Eko Hotel, Lagos, yesterday, March 15, 2023 as supervised by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and attended by the warring factions.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami is expected to inaugurate the Tribunal for the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) next week Thursday, in order to prosecute unregistered freight forwarders practising at the nation’s ports and borders.
L-R: ANLCA Patron, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi, Chairman CRFFN Governing Board, Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar, Acting Registrar Chief Executive Officer of CRFFN, Mrs Chinyere Uromta, another BOT member of ANLCA, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha at the AGM
Chairman, Governing Board of CRFFN, Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar stated this during the AGM.
As a fall out of the resolution of the crisis, CRFFN inaugurated an 8-man Board of Trustees (BOT) and appointed a 7-man Association Electoral Committee (ASECO) which would conduct fresh elections into the National and Chapter levels of the association.
The CRFFN Chairman stated that according to Section 27, Sub-section 1 of the CRFFN Act, anyone who is not a freight forwarder, but practicing as one at the ports, is committing an offense.
“It is very important for everybody to go and register with CRFFN. It is only when you are a registered member that you will be able to sue and we would listen to you.
“By next week Thursday, our Tribunal would be inaugurated, the Attorney General has already given us his assurances, we are going to continue to prosecute those operating without our registration, my advice for everyone of you is to try and register with the CRFFN,” he said.
While speaking on the newly inaugurated ANLCA BOT, Alhaji Tsanni said the essence of this is to have an understanding in the association for both warring factions to bring four people each, to constitute the board.
He assured that in the next two weeks, another enlarged meeting of all members of the association would be held, and the Chairman of the BOT would be appointed at the meeting.
Other issues that would be addressed at the next meeting, according to him, are the issues bothering on amendment of the constitution of ANLCA.
The CRFFN Chairman specifically appreciated one of the board members, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi who for the sake of peace, stepped down from the ANLCA Board.
“After our five hours of deliberation, we all agreed to have eight BOT members-Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, Chief Dennis Okafor, Mr Dayo Azeez, Sir Ernest Elochukwu, Kingsley Offor, Alhaji Shamsudeen, Prince Ozo Chukwura, and Eniola Igbaroola.
“We should appreciate these elders because without them, these solutions would not have been achieved, especially Prince Taiye Oyeniyi, without him agreeing to step down, all these peace wouldn’t have been achieved,” he said.
The CRFFN Chairman said he was going to brief the Director of DSS and the Minister of Transportation on the outcome of the meeting and it’s resolutions.
Acting President of the association, Kayode Farinto said “Our industry is suffering, our members are suffering and we are not better off, this is a crisis that has lingered for five years, let’s just thank God that nobody died. You need to see Wale Cole’s head, the man that was butchered at Tin Can Island Port, you know how much we contributed and how much spent.
“We have had 14 court cases, 13 out of the cases were won, yet there was no solution. The police has turned us into cash cows, both factions were spending money.
“What we are having today is a political solution of which I am not happy myself, but whether we like it or not, we must give in to our elders because they have all contributed immensely to the growth of this association.
“Customs has capitalized on this fact, they have polarized us, induced some people with money so that the crisis would not end.
The crisis in ANLCA is killing the industry and in the interest of peace we must move forward, in alternative dispute resolution, you leave some, you take some, you cannot have it all.
“The 8-man BOT is not final, it is to allow the association move forward and have it’s elections, after this, another AGM would be called to select the 9th member of the board” he said.
Farinto said the ANLCA Board should be made to function in line with CAMA 2020 which does not have executive powers.
Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha who chaired the BOT faction of the association called for calm and pleaded for both sides to forgive and forget past wrongdoings in the interest of peace.
It would be recalled that as the crisis festered, the BOT faction was headed by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, while the other faction was headed by NECOM, led by Kayode Farinto.