Tuesday, 13 May 2008

MORE DESPERATE MOVES TO HIJACK NIGERIA'S NEW BODY OF FREIGHT FORWARDERS


There have been more desperate moves recently to hijack and control the new body of freight forwarders in Nigeria, known as council for the regulation of freight forwarding in Nigeria, established under the Act for the regulation of freight forwarding in Nigeria(Act 16 of 2007).

The Act gives the responsibility of midwifing the birth of the new body to Nigeria Shippers Council(NSC). The new body when operational, will be responsible for "determining the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to be registered members of freight forwarders of Nigeria".

We were reliably informed that some powerful elements in Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA), in collaboration with some highly placed officials of NSC have been using money, influence, threats, blackmail and vital information withholding tactics to fence off qualified and credible practitioners from getting into council membership of the body.

A highly placed source in NSC informed us that negative security reports on many of the newly elected members of the council were ignored by NSC management prior to the election. Pressed to provide insight into why these persons are making these desperate moves, the source voluteered that these persons, although not qualified to practise freight forwarding in Nigeria, have been amassing wealth illegally in the system over the years. "It is understandable if they desperately want to continue to control the system", the source concluded.

Independent checks revealed that most of the big names in freight forwarding in Nigeria today cannot be said to be qualified to practise either by knowlegde or by skill. We discovered that although licensed by customs, they are mainly contact persons between Customs and Importers, and usually outsource jobs to the few qualified but less connected ones.

We had earlier reported that highly placed persons from the various freight forwarders' Associations, were, prior to the April 11th election into membership of the council,hustling to be elected into the new body.

An e-mail sent to ANLCA and NSC on April 18th, 2008 for comments have not been replied at the time of posting this report.