Fwdr.Hakeem Olanrewaju, RFF., Former Chairman, CRFFN Governing Council
GOVERNMENT INDIRECTLY CORRUPTING FREIGHT FORWARDERS— Hakeem Olanrewaju
By Mcanthony Onuoha
Former Governing Council Chairman of Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN), Fwdr.Hakeem Olanrewaju, has disclosed that the amount used to kick start the administrative life of the CRFFN between the years 2008 to 2012 ( of the first and second Governing Council) averaged 200 to 250 million Naira.
The former Chairman who laid this bare in a press statement dated 27th January, 2021, signed by himself and made available to the press, noted that out of the approximated amount; staff were recruited and salaries paid as at when due, official vehicles were purchased, capacity building programmes were conducted, memberships with FIATA formalized, office structures were rented across the zones,and operation head offices rented in Lagos and Abuja, and International Professional Exchange programmes attended, and myriads of other projects embarked on.
According to Olanrewaju, experiences have shown that administering a professional Council of CRFFN status was never a rocket science in terms of massive and over bloated yearly budgetary allocation that has unfortunately become the order of the day.
He went ahead to say that, “as a professional Regulatory Council and from what is obtainable else where, amongst the comity of freight Forwarding nations, we do not really need all this gigantic edifices tagged (headquarters & zonal administrative offices and institutes) being put in place.What governs a professional Council is the principle of discipline, transparency, moderation and prudence, especially, when it comes to financial management, and not the spirit of negligence, squander mania and recklessness.”
” Ideally, in a viable and competitive freight forwarding profession, most of the said ongoing projects are actually projects that the practitioners, through visionary leadership of the CRFFN, can easily attract through international donations via our global freight forwarding advancement programmes and empowerment schemes”.
In the press statement, the Former Governing Council Chair pointed out that, ” In the local front, with an ideal financial administration, these said projects are achievable, subject to professional administrative planning, budgeting and execution via visionary leadership”.
” As a professional Council, we are supposedly careful and conscious of budgetary and expenses in likely equation and correspondence with our yearly income via yearly subscriptions, enforcement of regulatory sanctions, sales of professional publications, professional levies, donations, corporate brand materials, etc.”
He lamented that it was disheartening to note that, ” 12 years after the registration of the CRFFN with the umbrella body, FIATA, what we can point to the international body that had concluded a Training-the-Trainer programme, followed by the accreditation of professional training institutions across the Geopolitical Zones of the country, is an endless ongoing projects of the CRFFN”.
” What a shame of a profession !”
“Even worse is the discovery that the CRFFN’s yearly budget is way far above that of FIATA, what an irony !”
” Let me shock you, by saying that the government is massively corrupting the leadership of the freight Forwarders cum the practitioners in an obvious subtle manner via over inflated contracts and white elephant projects”.
Note that In budgetary allocation for Ministries and Departments for 2021,under the Ministry of Transport, (see pages 747 and 760), the CRFFN has the sum of 489 million as overhead and personnel budgetary.
Continuing, Olanrewaju said, “consequently, the practitioners now finds it much rewarding and most profitable to do everything humanly possible to get elected into the Governing Council rather than face its professional practice. The growing trend is dangerous and a professional albatross has to be stopped !”
” From my perspective, this is rather a DELIBERATE Professional distraction caused by the government. What happens when another Government comes to power and discoveres that this present trend of setting up present edifices which in the future cannot be sustained for professional practitioners whose activities are service related is a sheer waste of public fund and gross economic sabotage.”
He warned that deliberate dubbing of a legitimate Professional Council to a quango Professional Council by Government Operatives has to stop.
Finally,Fwdr. Hakeem Olanrewaju assured that in due course like minds in the industry shall institute a process that will engender probity and transparency in the council’s administration, saying that it will no longer be business as usual.