… Urges downwards review of fee payable
The African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has welcomed the planned registration of freight forwarders as well as other port users by the port economic regulator, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).
The President of the association, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite who disclosed this in a chat with our correspondent in Lagos recently stated that while he was not objecting registration by NSC, the registration fee should be reviewed in order not to add to the cost of doing business at the port.
According to him, “Registration doesn’t even have to involve cash but if administrative charge is to be collected, it could just be a token and that will be fine. I don’t think anything is wrong with the registration but we should know what the duration of the registration should be. Is it going to be annual or bi-annual or a one-time registration? They must come out with details such as this.
“As far as I am concerned, I am not against the registration but I am concerned in the downward review of the amount to be paid by the registrant so that it won’t be an additional cost to freight forwarders. If you look at the effort of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, they are trying and to whom much is given, much is expected from him. So, if the general opinion is that the amount should be reviewed, let them review it.
“As far as I am concerned, I don’t see over regulation of freight forwarders here because the process will determine the outcome. Among all the agencies operating in the nation’s maritime industry, I still give kudos to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council. Imagine the work they did during the Covid-19 pandemic, we felt their impact. I put a call across to the former Executive Secretary, Hassan Bello and he sent a bus to our members in Sango-Ota to convey them down to Lagos. So, if not because of relationship, despite the fact that the people were not registered by them, they performed creditably at that time.
“They should go on with the registration but the cost involved should be reviewed.”
Speaking on the claim by the Shippers’ Council that one of the essence of registration was to interface with and disseminate information to port users, he said, “It is impossible for all the stakeholders to have interface with the Shippers’ Council but you must belong to an association or a group through which information could be disseminated to you. This is the way I look at it, that is why the associations need to be encouraged so that you can know who to hold responsible.”
Recall that the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), recently disclosed its intention to register the freight forwarders and port users operating in the nation’s seaports in an exercise it tagged “Operation Know Your Customer.”
The Executive Secretary of the NSC, Hon. Emmanuel Jime observed that the Council had put in place, the process of registration of port users pleading with them to allow the Council to register them so as to have a database of its customer.
Photo: Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, President, African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON).
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