In a bid to correct the misrepresentation of the freight forwarding industry by the public and to a large extent by the government through the media, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has announced far reaching measures to reform the industry for better result.
The Governing Council Chairman, CRFFN, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni who disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday stated that the Council shall immediately commence a regulatory process to pave way for the formation (registration locally and internationally) of the Federation of Freight Forwarding Association of Nigeria.
This body, Tsanni said shall among other objectives serve as the central and unified voice for the freight forwarding associations even as he disclosed that the new body shall upon coming on board be a stronger global representative aligning the freight forwarding associations and practitioners in Nigeria to the comity of freight forwarding nations, especially FIATA.
He noted that the Council shall direct its Registration committee to commence visitations to all the accredited associations’ secretariat adding that the committee shall in consultation with the Council’s management develop the re-evaluation and reassessment templates, criteria through which the requirements for retaining the association’s accreditation shall be, pointing out that the governing council shall adopt and act on the report and recommendations by the committee.
On association categorization, the CRFFN Governing Council Chairman said, “The Governing Council shall consider in its next general executive meeting, the steps associations’ categorization shall follow as prerequisite, conditions and qualifications for categorization which for now is being preserved for administrative convenience but will be made public at the appropriate time.”
He continued, “On Compliance or Taskforce Committees formed by accredited associations, the Council’s duty is to set standard for best of practices, regulate and moderate such practices where and when necessary to foster industry discipline and harmony. To this direction, the leadership of various accredited associations who has course to set up compliance committees to tackle operational challenges are duly commended, especially the management of NAGAFF. However such committees have been directed to put on hold their activities pending the restructuring and reintegration processes by the Council in line with its regulatory objectives.
“On corporate and individual membership registration, it is important to reiterate that the provision of the Act is clear on practitioners whose names are not found in the CRFFN register of freight forwarders. For emphasis sake, it is an offence to practice or be seen as a freight forwarder when you are not properly registered. The Council shall approve for the last time a grace period for non-registered freight forwarders which shall be communicated by the Council Registrar. Similarly, any practitioner reported by his/her clients or any other critical stakeholder for professional misconduct should be prepared to face the tribunal.”
On what informed the reforms, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni revealed that the reforms was in compliance to the directive of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to ensure compliance to the Ease of Doing Business among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) which according to him brought to fore, ease of doing business in the freight forwarding industry in Nigeria.
According to him, “After due administrative consultations, the need to undertake immediate professional reforms becomes imperative as the sector is mostly misrepresented in the public through the media to the extent that the government now seems to be in misplacement with the level of professionalism inherent in the profession, especially so with practitioners ethics, integrity and discipline, indeed calls for concern.
“Pursuant to this objective, the Governing Council convened an extra-ordinary emergency meeting of the highest leadership of all the accredited association. At the end of the long deliberated meeting, resolutions were reached for administrative convenience. However, other critical issues were penciled down for public consumption especially the practitioners and stakeholders within the international trade and supply chain.”
The Chairman however appreciated the cooperation of the practitioners towards the commencement of the Practitioners’ Operating Fee (POF) adding that the reform process had commenced and shall be sustained progressively.
“Together we shall reposition our noble profession to enviable heights once more”, he submitted.
Photo: CRFFN Governing Council Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni.
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