… As importers’ association demands 10% of POF
Apparently in a bid to bring sanity to the freight forwarding profession, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has warned that unregistered freight forwarders will soon be denied access to the seaports, airports and border areas.
The Chairman, Governing Council of CRFFN, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni who stated this in Lagos on Tuesday while playing host to the executives of Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) who paid him a courtesy visit revealed that the Council had initiated a move to register all associations and individuals doing business at the ports and border points to reduce the influx of quacks and miscreants at ports and border areas.
Tsanni who described the CRFFN as the only regulator that deals with the freight forwarding associations at the seaports, airports and border stations informed that by December, any association that doesn’t register with CRFFN wouldn’t have an opportunity to carry out its business at the ports.
He explained that the idea was to know the operators and prevent miscreants from accessing the ports even as he disclosed that the CRFFN had set up a committee responsible for the registration of associations.
“Associations and individuals will be registered and given identity cards that will enable them access the ports. Quacks and all those involved in illegal activities will not have access to the ports”, he assured.
The CRFFN Chairman, however, observed that identification with the Council would avail associations and the members a viable platform to resolve disputes and trade infractions involving government agency or company in the sector.
Tsanni further revealed that Freight Forwarders Consultative Forum had been set up by the Council with national and chapter executives of registered associations drafted in while representatives of key agencies and associations would also be included.
He noted that the consultative forum would collate all problems in the freight forwarding and supply chain industry and engage the Transport Ministry on areas in dire need of intervention adding that the Ministry would engage other Ministries and the Presidency depending on the degree of the challenge.
While expressing dissatisfaction with the incursion of foreigners into the freight forwarding business in Nigeria and exploitation of the freight forwarders and importers by shipping lines with arbitrary charges, he, however, encouraged Nigerian importers to support the CRFFN and its goals.
Regretting that the Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) had been resisted by some importers and freight forwarders alike, the Council Chairman assured that the POF would enable CRFFN to fund the training of freight forwarders and the importers.
Earlier in his speech, the Deputy President, Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN), Chief Simon Ezeji expressed optimism that CRFFN would play a prominent role in making importers and IMAN achieve their personal and collective objectives.
Ezeji who demanded that 10% of the POF revenue collected by CRFFN should be allocated to importers who engaged the freight forwarders said, “In August 2015, IMAN endorsed the collection of POF as approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria in the interest of businesses of the Nigerian importers. It is a fact that the financial gain into the coffers of the CRFFN via container fees, general cargoes and vehicles paid by importers and freight forwarders (proxies) as the declarant has rendered the IMAN moribund and at best invalid before the eyes of our members we suppose to protect.
“We are, therefore, requesting you sir and members of your governing council to give us 10% of your total POF collection from the ports and border stations with effect from July 2022. We are conversant with what is happening in other countries with regards to your regulatory operations and freight forwarding profession.
“We thank you for the proper training and re-training of freight forwarders that are equally our mandate to take care of their welfare.”
He, however, noted that challenges associated with CRFFN activities would be minimized through sensitization, dialogue and effective dissemination of information.
Photo: (L-R): Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni, Chairman, CRFFN Governing Council and Chief Simon Ezeji during the courtesy visit to the CRFFN Governing Council Chairman by the Executive of IMAN in Lagos yesterday.
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