The governing council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has defended the appointment of Mrs Chinyere Uromta as Acting Registrar of the Council, saying the action is in line with the CRFFN Act and Provision of the Public Service rule.
The governing council, had at an Emergency Meeting last week announced Uromta as Acting Registrar to replace the Council’s Registrar, Barr. Sam Uwakohu, whose tenure ends 31st January 2023.
Until her appointment, Uromta was the Director Regulations and Enforcement.
However, the appointment of Uromta, who is the most senior officer of the agency has generated reactions as some freight forwarders have condemned the action of the governing Council describing it as illegal and a violation of the CRFFN Act.
One of the freight forwarders, Mr. Chidi Opara in a statement said, “The CRFFN establishment act in part 3, section 11, subsection 1, provides for the appointment of “a fit and proper person” to perform the functions of Registrar. Subsection 2 specifies the functions.
“At no point in the CRFFN establishment act was provision made for the position of ‘Acting Registrar’. There is also no provision for the position of Deputy or Assistant Registrar. Therefore, this action is a violation of the CRFFN establishment act (Act 16 of 2007).
“The implications of going ahead with the illegality of the appointment of Acting Registrar would be that actions, taken in that capacity would be null and void and of no effect whatsoever,”
But reacting to the assertion of Opara, the Chairman, Committee on Media and Publicity of the governing Council, Hon. Muftahu Ya’u, told Maritime Today Online that the governing Council acted within the CRFFN Act and the Public Service Rule which provides that consideration be given to the most senior officer in the agency.
He said, “Maybe they have never laid their hand on the CRFFN Act and the Public Service rule to see where the Act clearly stated that the Public Service rule should prevail in circumstances like this. Mrs Uromra is the most senior officer in the Council, so automatically she becomes the Acting Registrar. That is what the Public Service rule says.
“Her appointment is not a personal decision but in line with the Act and we are here to follow due process so I don’t think that should be an issue.”
In a communique made available to the press after the meeting, Ya’u, said the Committee’s recommendation for Uromta’s appointment was made in other to avoid vacuum after the expiration of the Registrar’s tenure.
He said the CRFFN Committee on Appointment Promotion and Discipline had been mandated to go ahead to start preparations for re appointment/appointment of a new Registrar.