Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria- APFFLON
DELIBERATE VIOLATION OF CRFFN ACT AND FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION BY THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION.
Our attention has been drawn to a letter dated 1st June, 2023, with Reference number – MT2120/527/1/140 captioned: “Joint monitoring exercise by the Officials of the Ministry and Staff of CRFFN to the CRFFN operations at Seaports, Airports, Land and Border, addressed to the five CRFFN Accredited associations of freight forwarders and signed by Ewache A. Victor, Deputy Director, Inland Container Depot, for Honourable Minister of Transportation, notifying them of the approval of the Honourable Minister, Officers of Maritime Services Department of the Ministry and Officers of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria-CRFFN of Joint assessment visit to the Council operations and the five accredited associations.
The assessment visit, according to the Federal Ministry of Transportation, is aimed at monitoring compliance of the collection of Practitioners Operating Fee(POF), and will also enable the Ministry identify challenges and possibly intervene to smoothen and engender a convenient ambience for a seamless International trade facilitation.
APFFLON wish to call the attention of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to Nigeria constitution that allows Freedom of associations and the CRFFN Act under Section 4, where it unambiguously states the three membership categories of the Council to include Associations, Corporate Bodies and Individuals, we are appalled by the deliberate marginalization of Corporate Bodies and Individuals by the Ministry while it is obvious that the Accredited Associations amount to only 30% of port users.
For the Federal Ministry of Transportation to sideline other categories and decides to embrace only one of the categories which is the freight forwarding Associations is a breach of the CRFFN Act and an invitation to anarchy.
It is very clear that Section 4 of the CRFFN Act recognizes three categories of membership, namely: Associations, Corporate bodies and individuals, and if it is so, why then is the Ministry recognising only one out of the three categories ? Sidelining Corporate bodies and individuals negates that very Section of the Act which unambiguously states the three categories that should form the Council’s membership.
We hereby call the attention of the Permanent Secretary , Ministry of Transportation to address this infraction because the continuous violating of Section 4 of the CRFFN Act and Freedom of Association will cast the Ministry in bad light.
Otunba Frank Ogunojemite,
National President, APFFLON.