In furtherance of its core mandate, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Lagos to develop and build capacity in the freight forwarding subsector in Nigeria.
The event which took place at the CRFFN’s headquarters in Lagos on Monday saw the Registrar of CRFFN, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu and the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Director, Institute of Maritime Studies, Mr. Olusegun Adeaga put pen on papers to seal the three year deal which is expected to be reviewed in 2022.
Speaking during the signing, the Deputy Director and Head, Education and Research, CRFFN, Dr. Alban Igwe said that the meeting was actually to seal up an arrangement that had been on since 2017 adding that UNILAG and CRFFN were partnering to develop capacity in freight forwarding sector.
While noting that the institution also had a seat on the Governing Council of CRFFN, Igwe however described the development as a “double barrel” for the institution even as he informed that a certificate would be issued to UNILAG as accredited training provider saying,” CRFFN as a regulatory agency executes its training programme essentially through the instrumentality of the education service providers”.
He continued, “Across the country, we have a number of institutions that have been accredited, two of them are waiting to do what we are doing right now which is to sign the Memorandum of Agreement, one is UNILAG which is happening today and by Friday, the second one, University of Nigeria, Nsukka will happen in Abuja. So, this journey has started since 2007 like I said before. CRFFN has been accredited by the world body called FIATA which regulates and engages capacity on freight forwarding and supply chain management.
“So, we have been accredited since 2012 and 2013 in Los Angeles and Singapore respectively and down here, we begin to accredit institutions that we intend to use to build capacity in freight forwarding and supply chain management and UNILAG happens to be one of them. The qualification they will be running after this accreditation will be Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management and then Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management. These qualifications will afford freight forwarders the opportunity and capacity to practice freight forwarding anywhere in the world. It is not a Nigerian qualification, it is an international qualification”.
Also speaking, the Registrar of CRFFN, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu observed that in recognition of the Act that set up the Council which placed training at the core of its mandate, they were doing everything humanly possible to ensure that they shift the paradigm from a situation where freight forwarders were seen as not knowing what they were doing to a situation where they were now seen as professionals.
He said,” The customary thing all along has been that they call them clearing and forwarding agents, there is nothing wrong with it but we call them freight forwarders and we are telling the world today that we have a mandate to make sure that these people act as professionals and how would they do that? It is by learning. They go to learning centres, they go to Universities just like if you want to become a lawyer or a doctor or a journalist, you go through the university and by the time you come out, the general impression will be that this man is qualified unless he proves otherwise”.
While assuring that each and every freight forwarder would be qualified and be accredited to practice freight forwarding in the nearest future, the Registrar added that “That is our main objective of doing this and not just with UNILAG, we are going to do it across the country. We are doing for individuals and we are also doing for corporate bodies. The executive themselves will also have the opportunity to learn. There is no end to learning; even the Professors refresh themselves every now and again”.
Responding, the representative of the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Mr. Olusegun Adeaga thanked the Council for nominating the University as a member of its Governing Council and for its goodwill to certify and accredit the institution to run its progrmmes.
“I am here on behalf of my Vice Chancellor and Council members of University of Lagos; they send all their regards as well as the Director, Institute of Maritime Studies, Prof. Ilori. I want to tell you that with the University Motto: ‘In truth and In Deed’, we will always be in truth and in deed to abide by the rules and regulations that has to do with manpower development as regards to freight forwarding and regulation in Nigeria and according to FIATA specifications. I want to once again say that we are very much grateful to you for counting us worthy”.
Photo: Head Special Duties, Registrar’s Office, CRFFN, Mrs. Agnes Adeshiyan, Deputy Director and Head Corporate Affairs CRFFN, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta, Registrar of CRFFN, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu, representative of Vice Chancellor UNILAG, Mr. Olusegun Adeaga, Deputy Director and Head Education and Research CRFFN, Dr. Alban Igwe and Governing Council Committee Chairman on Education and Training CRFFN, Dr. Kayode Farinto during the MoU signing yesterday in Lagos.
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