A former Chairman of the Governing Council, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Alhaji Hakeem Olanrewaju, has berated the federal government over the way and manner the council is being managed in recent times.
Olanrewaju expressed dismay that the government was spending huge sums of money on the council without commensurate returns.
He wondered why the council has not been meeting its statutory roles and responsibilities despite the fact that more money has accrued to the council over the years.
According Olanrewaju, who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Talod Oceanair Limited, in a statement issued at the weekend, noted that: “Approximately, the amount used to kick-start the administrative life of the CRFFN between 2008 to 2012 (of the first and second Governing Council) is in the average of N200 million to N250 million.
“Out of this approximated amount, workers were recruited and salaries promptly paid; official vehicles were purchased, capacity buildings and programmes were conducted, membership with FIATA formalised, office structures were rented across the zones, and operation head offices rented in Lagos and Abuja, international professional exchange programmes were attended among other things.”
He averred that experience has shown that administering a professional council of this size has never been a rocket science, just as he flayed what he called “the massive and over bloated yearly budgetary provisions” of the council.
He said: “As a professional regulatory council, and from what is obtainable elsewhere in the comity of freight forwarding nations, we do not really need all this gigantic edifices (tagged headquarters and zonal administrative offices and institutes) being put in place. What governs a professional council is the principle of discipline, transparency, moderation and prudency especially when it comes to financial management, and not the spirit of negligence, squandering 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 international participation in the global freight forwarding advancement programmes and empowerment schemes. In the local front, with an ideal financial administration, this said projects are achievable subject to professional administrative planning, budgeting and execution via visionary leadership.”
Olanrewaju stated that: “It is 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, which had concluded a trained-the-trainer programme, followed by the accreditation of professional training institutions across the geo-political zones of the country, is an endless ongoing projects of the CRFFN.”
He further expressed fears that the anomalies in the council were what he called “deliberate professional distractions” caused by the government.