Sandra Ukele

The International Freight Forwarders Association of Nigeria (IFFA) recently held its annual retreat and formal inauguration of its 7-man committee to head its Apapa branch in Lagos.

Speaking at the event, the President of the association Mr. Sam Onyemelukwe reiterated members’ commitment to trade facilitation. He stressed that members of the association are active in the movement of huge tonnage of cargoes annually to and from ports in Nigeria.

Onyemelukwe, who is the immediate past Vice Chairman, Governing Board, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), explained that in this period of economic instability and fluctuations, especially in the oil and gas indices, the nation must rely on maritime, and other natural endowment to make Nigeria economically great again.

“We are aware that IFFA members are active, daily practitioners that move huge tonnage of cargoes annually to and from the ports in Nigeria and other parts of the world. Hence, we are in a vantage position to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that the goals and targets of the federal government in maritime and shipping are achieved,’ he said.

Onyemelukwe pointed out that members of association have gathered experience in the freight forwarding sub sector whose resources can be tapped for growth and development of the maritime sector.
According to him, working with all stakeholders by the IFFA pose a major target to the sector, saying that the maritime sector is one of the revenue earners to the government coffers.

“IFFA has a gathering of experienced maritime professionals whose recourse can be tapped for the growth and development of our industry. Working with all stakeholders, our target is to make maritime and freight forwarding the number one revenue earner to the federal government of Nigeria. We have carried our practical research that shows that this is achievable,” he stated.

The former CRFFN boss further noted that IFFA built a bridge with practitioners from different countries, adding that the synergies and exchange can greatly help the country.

In line with the association’s vision, the freight forwarding group, according to the IFFA boss, aligns with global best practices to ensure Nigeria preparedness to join the global league in dynamism and internationally oriented industry.

“Looking at our local milieu, in this era of probe and anti-corruption crusade, we must all support the federal government and join hands in building new Nigeria where equity and justice, honesty and integrity, will reign supreme. We must not allow the kind of can of warms that are let out from the industry in the past past years happen again,” he said.

Onyemelukwe urged the chapter executives to be ambassadors to pilot the affairs of the association and to fly the flag of the body.

He said in line with professionalism, there is the need for the executives to work with ethics, code and conducts of the association adding that “we charge you, as patriotic citizens to work with integrity and think always towards building a new progressive Nigeria.”
The newly inaugurated team for Apapa executive include, OsyEzenwinyanya as Chairman, Peter Paul as Vice Chairman while, Chief OsitaChukwu Patrick as the Secretary.