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Lawyer wants meeting between CRFFN and freight forwarders facilitated by skilled mediators

Lawyer and Mediation Advocate, Mr Valentino Buoro has urged the Federal
Government to engage the services of skilled mediators to facilitate the
ministerial order for a meeting between the Council for the Regulation of
Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and the  Associations of Freight Forwarders registered
and recognized by the Council.

a statement he issued in Lagos yesterday, Buoro emphasized that the well
intentioned directive of the Minister of Transportation, Hon.  Rotimi Amaechi that the practitioners
reconcile their differences within two weeks may hit the rocks if the parties
were allowed to meet among themselves without skilled professional

 He said that all over the world conflicts of
significant proportions were usually facilitated by third party neutrals who are
capable of gaining the respect of all parties to the dispute.

said that only skilled mediators would be able to manage the intensity of
interests that had ravaged the freight forwarding industry since the enactment
of the regulatory Act of 2007.

 He said negotiations such as was now expected
between the Forwarders and their regulatory council would only inflame more
emotive reactions where one party is erroneously perceived as the godfather to whom
prodigal sons have return by government fiat.

one should make any mistakes of the fact that implicit in whatever excuses may
have been presented as cause for the disagreements, there also exist underlying
interests for economic gains and the quest for group or personal recognition.

advised that mediators who must be engaged for this reconciliation must never
have had overt dealings in the maritime industry nor had any immediate
ambitions to do so.

He said they should be well experienced professionals
who would come with fresh perspectives capable of swinging the freight
forwarding industry back to a great start.

He said although it should be acknowledge that the Nigerian
maritime industry has a corps of well-respected mediation and other ADR process
experts, they must disqualify themselves from this particular exercise as a
result of prior relationships with parties.

who is also country representative of the Standing Conference of Mediation
Advocates (SCMA) expressed optimism that the CRFFN will soon assume its full
regulatory mandate having just been freed of avoidable shackles foisted on it
by previous leaderships of the Nigerian Customs Service.

urged both the CRFFN and the registered associations to also take immediate
steps to resuscitate activities of the Institute of Freight Forwarders and
Customs Brokers with a view to sustaining the neutral platform through which
the myriad of concerns of freight forwarders can be ventilated from time to time.

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