The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has said that contrary to opinion in some quarter, Practitioners’ Operating Fee (POF) collection will reduce the cost of doing business at the Nigerian seaports.
The Registrar and Chief Executive of CRFFN, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu who stated this in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday in Lagos said that it is mischievous when people say that that POF collection would add to the cost of doing business.
Nwakohu contended that “It will not add to the cost of doing business rather it will reduce the cost of doing business in several ways. POF is that service charge that a freight forwarder charges his client. For example, if the service charge for 20ft container is N20, 000, we are asking the freight forwarder to pay us N1, 000 out of that money. From that N1, 000, we will be able to train him; we will be able to look into other issues. Nothing comes free, for us to equip you for tomorrow; we need some funds to be able to help you. You can’t go to any school at all without being able to pay for it.
“So, for me, I believe that it will bring down the cost of doing business because the man who is the beneficiary, at the end of the day will be better equipped on how to go about his business. It will no longer be an all comers affair.”
He further stated that under the sharing formula, a certain percentage would go to the declarant who he said was that man who worked and paid the POF.
“We also need money to administer ourselves. We are regulatory agency. Let the truth be said, over the period, some people have been collecting this money and putting it in their pockets. Naturally, you don’t expect them to be happy. Let me tell you something, if you have been sitting on something for a long time and that thing is going to the pockets of a group of people, when you want to do it legally, you don’t expect that everybody will say well done, that you have done well. No! People will resist you because those people who are the beneficiaries would definitely resist you”, he said explaining why some people are opposed to it.
On whether or not the POF collection would commence on February 3, 2020 as insinuated by some media, the Registrar replied, “I am not in the position to tell you whether that information is authentic or not but I will let you know that POF will commence. What you saw, I didn’t see and it didn’t emanate from my office but at the right time, I will let you know.”
On what the Council was doing to sensitize the freight forwarders on the benefits of POF collection to them, he said, “we have three zones in the country. We have been to Lagos – Southwest zone, we have been to Port-Harcourt – South-south zone and we have been to Kano – Northern zone. We have covered all the geopolitical zones as mapped out by CRFFN and it is ongoing. We will continue to engage the freight forwarders.”
Photo: CRFFN Registrar/CEO, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu.
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