CRFFN interested in POF collection rather than professionalizing freight forwarders – Ajuzie


…Says POF should be the last resort

A chieftain of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Fred Ajuzie has said that the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) is more interested in collecting the Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) rather than in professionalizing the freight forwarders to be at their best in their practice.

Ajuzies who made this declaration in an interview with Primetime Reporters in Lagos on Thursday observed that what the Council was after was the POF saying that “there are no plans to make freight forwarders what they should be as to why CRFFN was created.”

“As far as I am concerned, I am not a fan of CRFFN because CRFFN has not better any freight forwarder’s life. Since the inception of CRFFN, I have benefitted nothing. The only thing I have benefitted from CRFFN is bring money. Is that why the Council was established? It is a fat cow where people go to milk every day, I thought it is to professionalize us and make us better professionals and help us to realize our rights in the course of doing our businesses but nothing like that.

“I know that there should be training and that it is meant for associations to run it but then, it should go by election but this last one, the government appointed a Chairman, so, the government has taken over. I am not against it if the government wants to take over to better the lives of Nigerians. Probably, that is the reason for government takeover but for the past two to three years now that the government took over the leadership of the Council, nothing is happening.

“When they took over, they bought vehicles and gave to people to drive, there is no freight forwarders’ forum where this CRFFN has called freight forwarders to educate them, enlighten them on the goings on in the Council. We heard that the federal government put so much money in the CRFFN budget for the Council to create wealth for the benefits of the freight forwarders and what we are hearing now is that they want to come and collect money from people they never trained or retrained. How can it work?” he added.

Ajuzie who is a former Chairman, NAGAFF, Apapa chapter maintained that the CRFFN was trying to force itself on the people instead of allowing itself to be understood and make things easier for freight forwarders to operate.

According to him, “When you are coming in to establish in a place, you establish in conformity with what is on ground and educate people and the people will see the good side of you. You can’t just be pushing people, forcing them to do things your way.

“Constitutionally, CRFFN was meant to operate by the freight forwarders themselves and that was why the governing board of the council is being elected by the freight forwarders because these are the people who know their people and who know what they want. But it has been hijacked recently. The Act did not give government any power to appoint the Chairman for the governing council.

“This is the third Chairman that the CRFFN is having yet there is no good blue print. The last Chairman is not even a freight forwarder, he does not know anything. The only thing he knows is to collect money. CRFFN is not about collecting money, this POF is the last resort when every other thing has been put in place and the people start benefitting from the Council, then you now bring in POF as the last resort.”

While frowning at the collection of the Wharf Landing Fee from all the trucks exiting the Lagos ports by the Lagos State Government, he stated that was one of the ills that the CRFFN should be fighting to stop and not subjecting the freight forwarders to further hardship.

His words, “CRFFN is not seeing what the Lagos State Government is doing, collecting Wharf Landing Fee outside the port from all trucks exiting the port. They are the ones that are supposed to fight against that fee that the Lagos state government is collecting. Lagos state government is by one side collecting that professional fee from truckers. Every truck that leaves the port, they collect money with Police. This is what they should have fought and that thing stopped so that CRFFN can be part of that arrangement. But they don’t see it.”

On whether he can confirm the enforcement of POF collection at the Apapa port, he said, “APMT is not enforcing it; I think there is no consensus because if there is a consensus, it should apply to all ports in Nigeria. There is no way TICT will be enforcing this and Apapa is not enforcing it. That means there is no consensus.”

Photo: Former Chairman, NAGAFF, Apapa chapter, Dr. Fred Ajuzie.

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