The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) yesterday said that it is in full support of the collection of the Practitioners’ Operating Fee (POF) at the seaports, airports and land border stations across the nation by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
It will be recalled that the Federal Government last year approved the collection but implementation was delayed till January 1, 2020 when the collection commenced thus drawing the ire of some aggrieved freight forwarders who saw the collection as further impoverishing them.
However, rising from an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting summoned at the instance of the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam on Monday in Apapa, Lagos, NAGAFF appreciated the inherent benefits accruable from the collection of the POF.
In a communiqué signed by the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Chidiebere Enelamah at the end of the meeting warned that as a responsible association always ready to support government to achieve its goals, no member of the association should directly or indirect constitute himself or herself into a stumbling block on the path of the process of collection of POF.
The communiqué advised that CRFFN should ensure equity, justice and fairness to all manner of stakeholders and in particular all freight forwarders and associations affiliated to the Council adding that the management of CRFFN should ensure that POF proceeds shall be deployed primarily to achieve the object clause of determining the standard of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to be registered member of freight forwarding in Nigeria in accordance with the provisions of the Act and other related purposes.
It maintained that for NAGAFF to take advantage of the benefits of POF, the National Headquarters of NAGAFF, in conjunction with its members in the Governing Board of CRFFN should evolve a strategy that will ensure the association gets its fair share of the proceeds from POF.
While stating that all chapters must ensure that every new registrant into NAGAFF completes all the registration processes for CRFFN forthwith, it added that NAGAFF members all over the country must be united for them to achieve more for individually and collectively for the association.
It continued,”That no NAGAFF member should make further comment on the issue on any platform to the contrary.
“That CRFFN should ensure that distribution of resources and proceed of POF is done in accordance with resolution of the five (5) accredited associations in the last election i.e NAGAFF-6, ANLCA-6, AREFFN-1, NCMDLCA-1 and NAFFAC-1.
“That distribution of resource and proceed of POF shall be based on accredited associations other than licenses issued by the Nigeria Customs Service.
“That NAGAFF reinforced its position that CRFFN is for freight forwarders of Nigeria as a regulatory agency of the government and not for licensed customs agents association as secondary freight forwarders.
“And that the National Assembly is ever ready to make good laws for the good governance of our country. In that wise, anybody or group wishing to approach the NASS for their own regulatory agency is at liberty to do so.”
The communiqué warned practitioners to understand that CRFFN as it stands is an agency of government with all powers of coercion to ensure that government carries on with its regulatory functions while advising that “no court has voided the ruling of the court which pronounced CRFFN as an agency of government”, warning that nobody or group should take laws into their own hands to avoid unpleasant consequences.
“That NAGAFF and its members hereby reinforce their unwavering support for the proper management and administration of CRFFN for the good and betterment of freight forwarders of Nigeria.
“That the Hon. Minister of Transport and Chairman of CRFFN in Council are hereby encouraged to evoke all legal powers to deal with trouble makers and saboteurs in the freight forwarding industry and profession.
“That the establishment of the Tribunal is now or never to ensure peace in the society in general and the freight forwarding in particular”, the communiqué stated.
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