The Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), yesterday held its 26th meeting at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos where it approved the establishment of seventeen (17) standing committees for effective running of the Council.
Among the committees set up during the meeting yesterday was the Committee on Ministries, Department and Agencies with the mandate to liaise with the leadership of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to address the “hijack of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) and the 15% levy” recently introduced by the Federal Ministry of Finance on all imported used vehicles and being implemented by the NCS.
Speaking in his address at the meeting, the Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Dr. Abubakar Tsanni urged the Committee on Ministries, Department and Agencies to commence work immediately and report back to the Council whatever is the outcome of its mandate in this regard.
Tsanni, however, assured that the Council would ensure proper financial management, monitoring of revenue and expenditure of the Council according to the law adding that the Council would also ensure that the Committee on Finance and General Purpose and the management of CRFFN should ensure effective enforcement of the Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) collection, scrutinize and audit all the books of account when it was due and ensure prompt presentation to the Council.
“This is a mandate and we must not fail in our duty. Similarly, Committee on Appointment, Promotion and Discipline and the CRFFN management shall coordinate verification of all staff of the Council. The Committee on Ministries, Department and Agencies should get ready to liaise with the leadership of customs and excise to address the issue of hijack of PAAR and 15% levy and report back to the Council immediately whatever is the outcome”, he said.
On Standing Committees, he observed that while some members of the Governing Council were patriotic to the cause, some were seeking ways of fulfilling their personal ambitions adding that “we had similar experiences and blatant dysfunctional intrigues during the 3rd Governing Council. The way some of try to influence their appointments as Chairmen of the Committees is unnecessary. We shall resist such pressures.”
While maintaining that stabilizing the Council would be his main objective for now, he added that “for fairness and justice, I requested through the (WhatsApp) platform for every member to forward his CV, listing highest qualification and experience for proper placement in the standing committees, only very few responded. In any case, we will proceed with available information and committing to do justice to all.”
“At this juncture, I hereby present to the Council, a list of proposed standing committees, seeking the approval of the Council on it. It is a combination of those that are clearly provided for in the Act and some listed in the regulations with their terms and references. In constituting the Committees, we strictly adhered to the provisions of the Act and other Council regulations.
“In this regard, I would like to call the attention of members of the Council to the importance of effective implementation level for all the committees. Committees should work hand in hand with management. This is why members of the management are in every committee who shall serve as the Secretary of that Committee for effective delivery. Moreover, performance and tenure of every Chairman of Committee will be assessed and determine at interval of six months. I urge all members to cooperate and work in synergy with each other to enable the Council succeed”, he further said.
The Chairman emphasized that the Council would encourage and give all the necessary support to Freight Forwarders Consultative Forum (FFCF) to focus on the development of freight forwarders and freight forwarding industry, transport and logistics industry in Nigeria saying “we will also ensure that the Committee on Registration and the CRFFN management continue to interact with accredited associations from time to time to register members, monitor electoral process towards ensuring compliance to CRFFN Act.”
“They should also ensure cordial relationship with the leadership of the accredited associations on how best to move forward the freight forwarding industry in Nigeria now and beyond. The Registration Committee and the management of CRFFN should ensure that minimum educational qualification of practicing freight forwarding business in Nigeria is hereby enforced for compliance.
“While we will strive to improve the practice and opportunities for all registered accredited associations at all times, it has to be emphasized as provided for in Section 4(1) SI NO 35 of Regulation 2010, any association that does not meet up with the guidelines as provided for in the Regulation will face deregistration by the Council. We will furthermore be ready to go with the entire international regulatory bodies in our efforts to promoting the Nigerian freight forwarding industry” he added.
On his part, the Registrar of the Council, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu stated that to ensure that the Council meets its mandates, numerous programmes and policies were being pursued with vigour and absolute determination through well coordinated activities which included but not limited to the following; standardization of freight forwarders charges and operating procedures which was a collaboration between the Council and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.
Nwakohu added that the Council was poised to providing high quality education and training of practitioners which he said was one of its core mandates noting that appreciable milestones had been achieved with sixteen (16) educational institutions currently accredited across the six (6) geo-political zones of the country.
He further informed that the Council was collaborating with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council in facilitating international recognition of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port (KIDP) as port of origin and destination through FIATA adding that the Council was also working on developing a digital haulage system (Uber-like system) to standardize the freight transportation in Nigeria.
According to him, “There is a Register of all legitimate freight forwarders in the country and the Register is updated periodically as prescribed by the enabling Act. The Register has five (5) accredited associations, six thousand and eighty-nine (6,089) individuals and one thousand, five hundred and twenty-six (1,526) corporate organizations as at 11th June, 2022.
“We successfully carried out two batches of Executive Professional Diploma in Freight Forwarding (EPD) in collaboration with the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in 2021. EPD is an intensive executive class designed for the executive cadre in the industry. Presently, we have over seventy (70) freight forwarding executives trained via the Executive Diploma in freight forwarding. We are also working on running the programme across the country in conjunction with appropriate Education Service Providers (ESPs).
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