POF: CRFFN explains delay in paying declarants’ entitlement, commits to clearing arrears


The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN has blamed its inability to pay the declarants’ share of the Practitioners Operating Fee, POF on the 40 percent deduction from source in favour of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF introduced by the federal government around October last year. 

The Acting Registrar of CRFFN, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta who disclosed this on the sidelines of the visit by the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola to the Council’s headquarters in Lagos yesterday said that before the introduction of the 40 percent deduction, the Council had religiously paid the declarants’ share of the POF to them.

According to her, “On my assumption of duty in February, there was a town hall meeting where all of them (freight forwarders) responded and it was a very good outing. We discussed freely and they raised this issue (non remittance of declarants’ share of POF by CRFFN) as their problem and I made it known to them that before then, the Council was paying as the former Registrar paid the declarants.

“But around October last year, the Federal Government introduced the 40 percent deduction from source and by the time the deductions were made, we have very little to run the Council. So, that was what hindered the regular payment of the declarants and I made it known to them during the meeting and I assured them that their file is on the table, we are compiling the arrears and when we are done with arrears, the new ones will start.”

She, however, disclosed that the Council encountered some hitches ocassioned by incorrect account details supplied by some of the declarants while trying to pay the money adding that while the Council had gone ahead to pay two months arrears to the associations, it was yet to pay the individuals due to the discrepancies with their phone numbers.

“We are trying to reach them to come and verify so that when we pay and they get it right. So, the Council is poised and committed to the payment of the declarants’ share of the POF even the arrears but it has to be gradual. It is their right and we are saying yes to that”, she said.

Speaking on the initial resistance to the collection of the POF by the freight forwarders, Mrs. Uromta said, “I really want to commend all our stakeholders, they have been there unregulated, nobody cared for them doing their business and suddenly somebody comes to share from their sweat, they can’t just give up like that, so you must resist and if you must give up some portions, there must be some conditions for doing that and that condition should be a kind of incentive or encouragement for them to declare more and to pay more.

“The money we are talking about is not just for the Council, it is for them and it is for us to contribute to the national GDP also. So, ever since, they started cooperating, they have been cooperating with us especially the practitioners at the seaports.”

The POF is an internally generated revenue (IGR) approved by the Federal Government to be paid by freight forwarders. Under the POF regime, freight forwarders pay N3.5 per ton of cargo imported into the country, N1.5 per kilo for air cargo, N1,000 on each imported 20-feet container and N2,000 per 40-feet container.

According to the proposed sharing formula of the POF collection, 25 percent of the revenue will go into the Federation account towards nation-building, while 35 percent is given to freight forwarders and associations.

A further breakdown of the 35 percent to freight forwarders and associations is that; 10% officially have been given to associations, 5% was approved to the declarants that pay the POF while the remaining 20% is to be used for training purposes for freight forwarders.

Meanwhile, the remaining 40 percent will be shared between S. W. Global, the technical partners to the CRFFN. While S. W. Global gets 20 percent, the CRFFN gets the remaining 20 percent.

Photo: Mrs. Chinyere Uromta, Acting Registrar/CEO, CRFFN.

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