By Ambrose Okehi
It was all round jubilation, merriment, dancing, wining and dining as well as celebration galour for the entire freight forwarding community, particularly the members of the foremost and biggest freight forwarding association in Nigeria, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) as they trooped out enmass on Monday, November 30,2020 at their National Headquarters, No. 2 Maybin Street Apapa GRA, Lagos to Mark the 21st anniversary celebration of the their existence.
To the gathering NAGAFF members, it was 21 years of struggle for the total liberation of freight forwarding operations in Nigeria and their practitioners. It was also a 21 year of public advocacy.
That was in commomeration of what happened in
November 30th 1999 with a huge and when NAGAFF was burthed.
A well organized funfair by a group that stood solid and has always stand to defend entire freight forwarding subsector in the Nigeria.
The well attended event was one of the talk-of-the-town, an event that attracted who is who in the freight forwarding community.
The birthday boy and the KLT chapter chairman, Bro. Ossy Nnam who stole the show as he came along with his birthday cake, a day which coisided with that of NAGAFF. He actually took photos with the founder and his chapter members and celebrated NAGAFF members.
It occasion was indeed a supperb outing for the NAGAFFIANS, as the group known for one week one event were all around to make goodness attractive. some members also described as glorious event, colourful, eventful, saying that it came at a time when all members of NAGAFF are hungry and are clamouring for total liberation.
They use the opportunity to recall the days when the great association started way on the 30th day of November, 1999 and the opposition’s that faced it then and how they scale through all of them.
Saying, after all, they have reasons to celebrate.
“That is 21 years download the line, NAGAFF has every reason to celebrate”, one of the celebrants told News Emperor Magazine.
It was a two decades plus of struggle for the liberation Nigerian freight Forwarders, decades of eventful activities, years of advocacy and upliftment of the freight forwarding subsector of the Nigerian economy.
To many, NAGAFF has really paid her dues and is making serious impacts in sector, not only within the freight forwarding encleave but within the Nigerian economy as a whole.
The Story of NAGAFF is a story of the journey of 21 year total liberation and freedom of Freight Forwarders and logistics managers from the shackle of backwardness and never going back in Nigeria.
The event was a gathering of a who is who I the freight forwarding subsector.
It was a day of rememberance and of telling stories of a man, Dr. Boniface Ikechukwu Aniebonam, Ozo Ebubechukwu, Ara na azu oha (the breast the feeds many children), who passed through many huddles in life just to reposition and revolutionize a sector, the freight forwarding subsector of the maritime industry. A man under his tutulage the noble idea and vision of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarderinng in Nigeria (CRFFN) was muted.
Dr. Aniebonam, Ozoebube Umuawolu is a man who means many things to many people. A man of many parts. A great achiever, a goal getter and a father to all.
Doctor as he is fondly called by all, knows what it means to train a Freight Forwarder and beliieves in the education of the downtrodden, real capacity builder. And that is why he has always emphasised on the issue of education, training and retraining in the industry.
NAGAFF, as everyone within the sector knows, is good to go at anytime. It has all it takes, with a very solid administration, capable hands personnel endowed with wisdom and knowledge at all time to move with its visions and ideas.
The group is not lacking in any area. They are measuring up in every angle both in actions, opinion and in it’s position papers and strategies.
They (the members) are always active and pragmatic in whatever they set hand out to do and will never go back but must achieve results.
NAGAFF is blessed with learned men, men and women of substance and integrity, and good strategizers, planners and good finishers in any issue that has do with the sector.
All the chapters of the great association were not left out in the annual celebration as they were fully represented.
The Ikorodu chapter chairman, Rev Edmond Nwosu was around with his chapter members to also grace the occasion and give it colour.
The Airport chapter led by Comrade Onyeka Udo was equally on ground to give the event the deserved colour.
However, other chapters like KLT, Apapa, etc were at the event.
On his own HRH Eze Mike Okorie while eulogizing and commending Dr. Aniebonam for his efforts to reposition the freight forwarding subsector of the maritime industry said he, the founder of NAGAFF has done a lot not only to the industry but to humanity at large.
He also acknowledged that Aniebonam is one of the doyens of the Nigerian maritime industry because of the roles he has played and those he has raised to limelight and encouraged him to continue to help humanity not just the Maritime industry alone.
Dr. Aniebonam, while speaking at the event noted that the freight Forwarders in Nigeria are cying for freedom and that the freedom is within a reasonable sight.
He assured them that the freedom is within.
“And that the freedom was achieved and that the achievement was premeditated on the establishment of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarderinng in Nigeria (CRFFN)”.
On the issue of CRFFN, Dr. Aniebonam explained that “CRFFN has the mandate to regulate and control the practice of freight forwarding in Nigeria. Meaning that freight practitioners, logistics managers will join the global cargo movers and Customs facilitation. In doing that they must have acquired skills through trainings.”
On the issue of education, he said “that it was what NAGAFF set to achieve. As it were, we have been able to do that through legislative instruments, but regretted that some bad elements within the sector are working against their plans.
“Unfortunately, some agents, agents of darkness have not been able to allow the council to strive.”
Sounding optimistic and biblical, Dr. Aniebonam prayed out that
“But what I can assure everyone here is that when you believe in God and believe in the movement of NAGAFF, and believe in the journey of liberation, the journey Will be easy and Will be actualized.”
The founder of NAGAFF also talked about members being focus and committed to their vision.
“We can only achieve this if only we get more committed and work hard because the forces of darkness are do much,” the founder of NAGAFF said.