Monday, 7 April 2008


Hustlings to control the new body of freight forwarders in Nigeria, named COUNCIL FOR THE REGISTRATION OF FREIGHT FORWARDERS IN NIGERIA, established under the COUNCIL FOR THE REGISTRATION OF FREIGHT FORWARDERS IN NIGERIA ACT,2007,being midwifed by the NIGERIA SHIPPERS COUNCIL(NSC)have started in full force. The act empowers NSC to form and co-ordinate the activities of the body.

The NSC after receiving and processing applications for membership, shortlisted and published names of corporate pioneer members.The country was divided into western maritime zone, eastern maritime zone and airport/border zone for effective co-ordination.

What sparked off the hustlings is the recent announcement of election into the governing body of the council scheduled to hold on friday, 11th April, 2008 in Abuja.
Freight forwarders were allocated eight slots in the body, thus: western maritime zone(6), eastern maritime zone(1),airport/border zone(1).

When our reporters visited Tin-can and Apapa seaports in Lagos and Onne seaport in Rivers State, top members of ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN LICENSED CUSTOMS AGENTS(ANLCA), NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT APPROVED FREIGHT FORWARDERS(NAGAFF)and NATIONAL COUNCIL OF MANAGING DIRECTORS OF LICENSED CUSTOMS AGENTS(NCMDLCA)were seen shuttling to and from meetings, whose agenda we learnt were to map out strategies to fill the few available slots.

Operators who did not want their names published told us that the leadership of these associations, especially ANLCA have been employing both fair and foul means to get the slots."Appeals to tribal sentiments and blackmails are their most prominent weapons", one source who pleaded for annonymity told us.

A top security source in Abuja informed us that many of those seeking election into the body have at one time or the other, got involved in imports and/or exports rackets and so may not make it if the NSC take the security factor into consideration.

We are aware that there were attempts by ANLCA leadership to compromise the leadership of the shippers' council but were unable to confirm so far if the attempts were successful or not. The NSC when contacted, however, said that it has always and will always follow the dictates of the enabling act.