• Thursday, July 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NAGAFF raises alarm over attempt to transform CRFFN to govt agency

frieght forwarding

Worried by the future of freight forwarding community, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has raised alarm over the plans to transform the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), to a government agency.

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos on Monday, Okwudili Alagbu, legal counsel to NAGAFF, said there was an ongoing effort at the National Assembly to amend the enabling Act, establishing the CRFFN and to transform it to a government agency.

According to him, there was an ongoing litigation in court, demanding for the interpretation of some critical sections of the CRFFN Act especially for the court to interpret the ‘self same provision of the Act’ and determine if the council is a government agency or not.

Alagbu, who insisted that the CRFFN was not a government agency, said the Court had earlier stated in its judgement that the Council is not a government. “The Court gave interpretation to the case, some in favour of NAGAFF but some were against. But, we filed an appeal immediately to contest the judgement, and the appeal has been ongoing.”

“CRFFN cannot be a government agency when 23 out of its 40-member governing Council were elected, the chairman must come from the 23 elected members, and the Council is self-funded, through members’ registration and practising fees.

Stating that democracy thrives on separation of powers and rule of law, Alagbu, called the National Assembly to avoid an attempt to create an additional financial burden to the government by creating another agency in CRFFN.

“We have written letters to Senate and House committee members, warning them of the looming constitutional crisis that would arise as a result of the amendment of the CRFFN Act in line with the intention of few,” he said.

He, however, described the letter from the governing council of CRFFN, which directed NAGAFF to ensure that its members withdrew the ongoing appeal on or before 20th of December, 2019, as threat.

Boniface Aniebonam, founder of NAGAFF, who confirmed that CRFFN is not a government agency, described the council as a ‘baby’ of NAGAFF.

According to him, the attempt to amend CRFFN Act was done to destroy CRFFN and that was why some members of NAGAFF went to court to challenge and seek interpretation of the status of the council in line with the provisions of the Act.