By Innocent Orok
The Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and National Chairman of the New Nigerian Peoples Party ( NNPP), Dr Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam on Thursday in Lagos added another feather to his cap. He was conferred with the Grand Fellow of the Institute of Transport and Management Technology (ITMT).
Dr. Aniebonam is the third person to be conferred and honoured with the title in the 36-year old Institute taking after Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni and the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd).
While honouring him, the Rector of the Institute, Dr. (Mrs.) Lilian Chibor described Dr. Aniebonam as a friend who has been supportive in most of the activities of the Institute over the years.
According to the Rector, the Institute has been following the activities of the nation’s maritime sector and the laudable contributions of the NAGAFF Founder which propelled them to single him out among other candidates for the award.
Her words: “He has been at the forefront in championing good policies and calling for capacity building in the maritime sector. The Institute singled out Dr. Aniebonam for this conferment as a result of his enormous contributions to the growth and development of the maritime industry in Nigeria.”
“He’s someone that always stands out and he continues to do so against all odds. You cannot talk about maritime and trade facilitation in Nigeria without mentioning Dr. Aniebonam.”
Noting that Dr. Aniebonam has been a fellow of the institute since 2003. She described him as a source of inspiration and pride to the present and future generations of the Institute and the freight forwarding sector at large.
The Rector equally seized the opportunity to call for support and collaboration from individuals and corporate organizations for training, adding that the Institute’s doors are always open for engagement.
Reacting to his fellowship, Dr. Aniebonam thanked the Rector for conferring on him such high level of recognition, while assuring that he is ready to add value to the Institute.
His words: “From my background in NAGAFF, I have created a capacity to bring about a better life. This is what the NAGAFF academy is about. It’s about developing capacity in terms of knowledge and this recognition is also an opportunity for NAGAFF members to take advantage of what the Institute has to offer.”
“When I was announced as the third person to be conferred on as a Grand Fellow of the Institute, I asked myself if I really merited it, but it has happened and now it becomes a huge responsibility on my part.”
Giving a goodwill message on Dr. Aniebonam, a chieftain of NAGAFF, Dr. Fred Ajuzie described the NAGAFF Founder as a selfless individual that can be called upon anytime to address freight forwarding issues.
His words: “He is a man that makes people happy and creates capacity for people to enjoy and grow in the freight forwarding practice. He’s a bridge builder that makes sure anyone called a freight forwarder has a clear path to succeed.”
“My message to other freight forwarders is to look at him and learn in order to make themselves better persons. As for me, I have tried to emulate certain things I can because to fit into the shoes of Dr. Aniebonam is not an easy task.”.