CREFFPON demands immediate suspension of POF collection


…Wants CRFFN to show commitment to welfare of freight forwarders

The Congregation of Registered Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria (CREFFPON) has called on the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to immediately suspend its intention to collect the Practitioners’ Operating Fee (POF) from the freight forwarders until it shows commitment to the welfare of practitioners.

CREFFPON, which made this call in a release signed by its Administrator Public Affairs, Forwarder Edwin Chukwudire-Obi in Lagos on Monday observed that it was astonished to read  the public notices issued by a terminal operators and official letters to the accredited associations being circulated on social media platforms with the intent of informing stakeholders on the commencement of the Practitioners Operating Fee ( POF) collection with effect from Monday 1st March, 2021,  by the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).

The group viewed this initiative as a clandestine and insensitive move undertaken by the CRFFN adding that by this move, the CRFFN had brazenly demonstrated its administrative carelessness towards the plights of the freight forwarding practitioners in Nigeria.

It noted that the CRFFN with an incomplete administrative structure appeared to be in a terrible haste to perpetuate an extended exploitation and compound the prevailing suppression, exploitations and extortions heaped on the freight forwarders at the nation’s ports cargo clearance chain.

“Ideally, the CRFFN is saddled with the tasks of training and retraining for skill acquisition; setting operational standards; defend the cause of professionalism, promote the culture of transparency to ease noticeable bottlenecks in operations; regulate and sanction erring practitioner; create an enabling environment that will guarantee the welfare of the practitioners etc.

“Unfortunately, the CRFFN has kept mute and mouth sealed while the freight forwarders are being tossed up and down, jumping from pillar to post, kneeling, begging just to make a living from their chosen profession. From this singular act exhibited by the CRFFN, it shows that their interest is only revenue driven regardless of the wellbeing of the practitioners’ business and the profession itself.

“Today, the practitioners are not only helpless but highly disillusioned due to no positive leadership representation both from the accredited associations and the CRFFN”, CREFFPON submitted.

The group therefore demanded that “the CRFFN should first, as a mark of professional administration and due sense of urgency to the sufferings of the freight forwarders rise up to regulatory obligations to the practitioners by addressing without further delays  the myriads of operational challenges presently faced  by freight forwarders on daily basis  before contemplating the enforcement of POF collection.”

It continued, “The CRFFN should owe her service obligations more to the practitioners than the government.

“The POF collection, if it was agreed to facilitate prompt capacity building objectives, the CREFFPON is not against it but from moves exhibited so far, that initial agreement can no longer be guaranteed in the face of unfolding events. Therefore, the CRFFN should repeat and carry out a holistic sensitization and enlightenment of stakeholders and practitioners on the matter of POF collection and the importance and benefits therefrom.

“The CREFFPON emphatically condemns the ridiculous move to commence the POF collection without the input and involvement of the elected freight forwarders on the board of CRFFN.

“The CREFFPON queries and presently doubts the accountability and uprightness in financial management of the POF collection without the elected freight forwarders to supervise the processes.

“The CREFFPON wishes to state in strong terms that the administration of the Council with a present composite of 95% non-professional is not acceptable. It has become obvious that, the government through the machination of the Transport Ministry should be told to refrain from equating and treating a professional Council to a mere agency of the government.

“The CRFFN should immediately suspend the POF collection intent until it shows commitment to the welfare of practitioners, this is paramount.”

The group disclosed that going forward; it shall in solidarity with the larger freight forwarding practitioners undertake necessary actions needed to forestall further exploitation of the practitioners by any government agency or individuals.

“The CREFFPON wish to reiterate its position that the CRFFN should for the interest of professional harmony and leadership responsibility suspend the commencement of the POF collection and focus its leadership searchlight towards serving the freight forwarders to win their confidence overtime before such contemplation in the nearest future”, CREFFPON stated.

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