…Moves to clear arrears owed individuals, freight forwarding associations
The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN has said that the current scale of charges for the payment of the Practitioners Operating Fee, POF by the freight forwarders operating at the nation’s seaport is no longer practicable.
The acting Registrar of the Council, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta who disclosed this in a town hall meeting with the freight forwarders in Lagos on Tuesday stated that following the introduction of a new policy by the federal government which now made it possible for the government to deduct 40 percent as against the initial 25 percent from the Council’s revenue, there was need for the review.
According to her, “As at October last year, we all know that normally, we remit 25 percent of whatever revenue we generated to the government but since last October, it’s no longer 25 percent with us, it’s 40 percent and it’s auto deduction. So, it’s really affecting our inflow because once the money comes, automatically, the government will take 40 percent.
“So, if we don’t revisit some of these things, how can we save money to train you because training and professionalism is one of the major mandates of CRFFN. We have not lost sight of that but we can do nothing if the revenue is very low and that is what informed this meeting, to ponder about what you have been paying before now, based on the new auto deduction that the federal government is applying just because we have third party collection.
“When you are having third party especially when you are earning revenue whether big or small, that’s when they will enlist you on this auto deduction and the only way to pay up is that we maintain the clarion call by the federal government through accruals, that we pay our dues, registration and subscription. It is from there that we can use the money to meet other needs.”
Speaking on the paper titled, “Strategies for Enhanced Revenue Generation- Benefits, Challenges and Way Forward”, a member of the CRFFN Governing Council and Chairman, Committee on Fund Raising, Chief Increase Uche harped on the need to review the current method of payment of POF to avoid total collapse noting that “what we are experiencing now, if it is allowed to go the way it is going, we will go into extinction completely. So, we need to do a review.”
On the need for upward review of current scale of charges, Uche said, “What I was saying before that the money we are paying now is so infinitesimal and the real people we should target are these multinational companies, not from us, we are not doing work. If we beef up the system to track them, we will get this money for our own use. So, when we talk about amount being paid and people are contesting and we need to beef it up. It is not from you, you are not the target.”
Meanwhile, the acting Registrar of CRFFN, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta has assured that the Council would soon commence the payment of arrears owed individual freight forwarders and associations from the POF collection so far made as agreed by the parties.
Mrs. Uromta who gave this assurance during the town hall meeting with freight forwarders in Lagos yesterday said, “I came in here to take over this position in February and during the meeting I had with Enforcement, they talked about benefits and I said this must be incentive to motivate is to do more. I sought to find out why it was not being paid before now. One of the reasons was that the 40% auto deduction is affecting the balance that we have.
“Nevertheless, I said we should find a way to clear the arrears, it is on my table, I am working towards it, even if it means paying the money month by month to individuals and associations, let us know how to take it up. This is the only way to motivate them to do more and all those leakages will go down. So, please, we are looking into it.”
Photo: Mr. Timothy Awogbemi, Chairman, Committee on Enforcement, Monitoring and Compliance, CRFFN (2nd left; Mrs. Chinyere Uromta, acting Registrar/CEO, CRFFN (standing) and Chief Increase Uche, Chairman, Committee on Fund Raising, CRFFN (3rd left) during the town hall meeting organized by the CRFFN for freight forwarders in Lagos on Tuesday.
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You refused to report our responses to the request of the council to balance your report. So I regarded this as half news.