|Dr. Frank Ukor; AREFFN President|
The attention of Association of Registered Freight Forwarders, Nigeria(AREFFN) high command has been drawn to the publication on Shipping Position Daily of 4th Nov. 13 on page 7, accredited to one Chucks Kanikwu David on various issues including an attack on the President and members as well as the association itself.
We would have ignored his out bursts because ‘Silence is the best answer to a fool’, but because the general public may think that he is correct. He set out purposely to deceive the public with his outright lies and half truths.
Tin-can is not a notorious port, Tin-Can is an elitist port” This is a clear contradiction of the position of the CG of Customs during his recent visit to the Lagos ports.
Who is now saying the truth, the CG or the new Secretary of Tin-Can Chapter of ANLCA who is just making every effort to please his boss who installed him at the chapter. In further defense of this position, he said, `what happened was that the coloration changed when the last executives came on board. I do not know how they got the notoriety, all of a sudden, so many unorthodox practices that we were not used to, started coming up- beating Customs officers and closing port gates started becoming frequent as they threw the virtues of dialogue to the winds’’. This can only be told to people who are new in the industry. We all know the modus operandi of ANLCA who so much believe in the application of unorthodox measures to achieve their set objectives. This method worked and was applauded long time ago when most of the operatives in the industry were not properly trained.
The emergence of AREFFN was partly to show that freight forwarding could be carried out in an atmosphere of mutual trust among the operators and other stake holders. Because we parade a crop of polished leaders, our approach has been remarkably different and we have been achieving results to the chagrin of our detractors. The face of freight forwarding must change.
Mr. Kanikwu and his ilk appear to have been in the industry because the good ones had been crowded out through acts of intimidation, extortion, intrigue and outright perfidy. Mr Kankwu has oscillated severally between ANLCA and NAGAFF just looking for the ‘’ greener pasture’’ which he appears to have finally found in his new position in Tin can. His subtle attachment on the immediate past executives of Tin Can is just to establish himself that he is ready to pay any price to satisfy his benefactors. No wonder his attack on AREFFN and its President, a perfect known gentleman, who has contributed immensely to the development in the industry. He has vehemently denied ever registering with and obtaining ANLCA Biometric Identity Card, and has challenged Mr Kanikwu to show proof of his assertion. ~I do not need ANLCA biometric identity card because I am not a member of ANLCA. Dr. Frank Ukor did not register with ANLCA. I challenge Mr Kanikwu to show the world that my identity card~, he said.
Mr Knaikwu’s views on the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) simply exposes his limited knowledge of the workings of this agency. CRFFN was established by law and given provisions under which to operate. It also has structures with which to implement its mandate. One would have expected Mr. Kanikwu to point out areas where the CRFFN has gone beyond its mandate. This, he could not do because CRFFN has been operating within the terms of its mandate. Is it the duty of a chapter Secretary of an association, who is seeking relevance, to query the vision, mission and contribution of another rival association within the industry? I think the CRFFN is the only body backed with such responsibility and there is no evidence that this task has been transferred to any outsider. If CRFFN demands the vision and achievements of AREFFN since it came into existence, AREFFN wILL willingly submit it to them, but not to the whims and caprices of Kanikwu and his backers.
The problem with Mr Kanikwu and his association is that because of the so called long dominion of the industry by the association, the issue of regulation which connotes control becomes an anathema in their calculation. Thus, their total opposition to any form of external control is the fulcrum around which all their distractive antics are centered. ANLCA President has tactfully thwarted all the efforts made by various groups to get CRFFN back on course.
CRFFN has been bogged down for such a long time and if the agency thinks that ANLCA and its cohorts will ever willingly submit to its hegemony which was conferred on it by law, then the realization of its mandate may not be soon. CRFFN is formed to regulate the Associations and never the other way round as some associations would prefer. If Kanikwu’s views actually represent the stand point of his association, then the CRFFN is expected to do the needful so that this kind of ridicule would stop.
We know that it is not Kanikwu that is talking. This is a case of `hand of Esau and Voice of Jacob’.
We really sympathize with the management of CRFFN over its predicament, because the forces against it are many, including some wealthy agencies of same federal government of Nigeria. What a shame!
Fwdr. Chidi Anthony Opara(RFF)
Presidential Adviser on Publicity