…As Agubama canvases for reduction in training fees
The President General of the Nigerian Association of Freight Forwarders and Consolidators, NAFFAC, Prince Bakare Adeyinka has advised the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN to adopt a new approach if they are to make any headway in the collection of the Practitioners Operating Fee, POF.
Adeyinka who gave this advice when the Acting Registrar led the management team of the Council on a working visit to NAFFAC headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday warned that the Council cannot get 40 percent of the POF from the freight forwarders the way you it was collecting it now even as he insisted that the Council had been able to capture only 20 percent of the fee in the last five to six years.
His words, “I could see a lot of emphasis that you put on POF and I will still stand on my argument, you cannot get 40 percent of POF from the freight forwarders the way you are collecting it now. It is not going to work. After five or six years, you have not achieved even 20 percent. Take that POF back to the line or you take it to the Customs.
“You still need to make use of the Minister in this regard. Customs is collecting not just customs duty, they collect CISS, the collect ETLS and even auto… they collect it on their behalf and then remit it to them afterwards. They collect even VAT, why is POF different? You need to make use of the Minister to achieve that because if you continue the way you are going about it, in the next ten years, you won’t get to 40 percent. Please work on that.”
Noting that the CRFFN needed to assert its position, Adeyinka who is a two time member of the Governing Council of CRFFN said, “if you really want to perform and when I mean you need to take your position, I am aware and I know that you need money to perform some functions but luckily for you now, you have a Minister who has the ears and eyes of the President. Please, make use of him and these are the things I want you to use him for: the Act that established CRFFN is outdated, we need to update it.
“That Act cannot take CRFFN anywhere. If you like, let us shout from now till tomorrow and we are still operating that Act of 2007, NAFFAC will be better than CRFFN because I can shout and go away with it but you cannot shout. People can say what is CRFFN doing, CRFFN is an agency of government, it cannot go against the policies of the government, we know about that but that Act needs to be worked on seriously. You need to sit down, I know we had some suggestions as at that time on the areas of amendment but some people took it as tenure elongation. But please, try as much as possible to make sure the Minister had to work on that Act 2007 of CRFFN. It is not going to take CRFFN to anywhere.”
He urged the Council to expand it’s dragnet to capture other segments of the freight forwarding Sector which had not been captured by the Council so as to create more avenues for the Council to generate money.
“Another one is for the CRFFN which is the freight forwarders regulating agency of the federal government to take charge of what belongs to you. The members that CRFFN should control is not just the freight forwarders alone. You are exerting a lot of energy on freight forwarders but there is warehousing, logistics, cargo movers, even local handlers from who we can get a whole lot but we do concentrated on the freight forwarding as if everything about CRFFN is freight forwarding.
“I can tell you that if the Act is amended the way it should be, NARTO should be under your control, National Union of Road Transport Workers is supposed to be under you, even RTEAN. Take charge of what you should control and let’s have control of what you should have”, he added.
On payment of declarants fee by the Council, Adeyinka maintained that no money had been paid to his association notwithstanding the fact that he was part of the meeting held in Kano by the CRFFN Governing Council and management together with the leadership of the CRFFN accredited freight forwarding associations where they agreed on the percentage of sharing the proceeds of POF within the associations.
According to him, “You might need to go back to your record and go back to the meeting we had in Kano precisely on the 24th August, 2019, where we had all the associations and we agreed on the percentage of sharing the proceeds of POF within the associations but I am surprised that up till now, NAFFAC has not gotten one Naira from CRFFN.
“We had an agreement that excess from any association is not compulsory because we know that some associations will be shortchanged. Immediately whatsoever that goes to the federal government goes to it, whatever that is left for the associations has percentages irrespective of which association and members that are paying that Money and we all sat down and agree, even percentage was a very big issue but we eventually agreed on certain percentage that day and everybody was okay. Please ma, I want you to go back to the records and look at that.”
On his part, the immediate past President General of NAFFAC, Chief Chukwuka Ani Thomas Agubama said that CRFFN was not doing enough in creating awareness among the freight forwarders even as he believed that many of them in the industry knew the Council as a fleeting thing.
Positing that the Council was not making impact in the lives of those it was to regulate, Agubama who is also a former member of the CRFFN Governing Council said, “All I am suggesting you try and do is this, maybe once in a week or once in two weeks or whatever is preferable, you do what I call a newsletter wherein you tell us certain developments in the freight forwarding industry and the CRFFN. This newsletter will have information about what is happening in the outside world.
“You may say how do you send it. You may put a copy of it in the portal, then send it into the WhatsApp numbers of the Presidents of the associations and expect the Presidents to share same into their associations’ WhatsApp platforms. There’s no association that hasn’t a WhatsApp platform. So, do that one, our people are always hearing and reading about CRFFN.
“When there are international rules and regulations that affect what we are doing, Zurich tells you about FIATA and then you pass it on so that when we are forwarding our goods to China, we know what rule to comply with.”
He further called for the reduction of prices in the cost of training for freight forwarders contending that the cheaper the cost of training, the higher the number of practitioners to be trained which in turn translate to more revenue for the Council.
His words, “I have always advocated for prices which will make things easy for many people to buy the product. Look at our training fees, the more affordable it is, the more people will be willing to come and participate. You may put seven practitioners in a certain hotel in town and collect N250,000, how many people can afford N250,000?That is why when you hold these trainings, you may find ten to fifteen people. But if it is something like fifty to sixty or even seventy, the hall will be full and you will make more revenue and impact knowledge to more persons.”
Photo 1: (L-R): Mr. Ben Ojumah, Director, Planning, Research and Development, CRFFN, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta, Acting Registrar, CRFFN and Dr. Adeyinka Bakare, President General, NAFFAC during the visit yesterday in Lagos.
Photo 2: Mrs. Chinyere Uromta, Acting Registrar, CRFFN in a group photograph with members of NAFFAC during the visit yesterday in Lagos.
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