…Seeks association’s support to register new members, POF collection
…NAGAFF lists areas of improvement, pledges support
The Acting Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta has described the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF as a strong pillar of support for the economy in general, the Marine and Blue Economy sector and the CRFFN in particular.
Uromta who made this assertion when she visited the NAGAFF headquarters in Lagos on Monday appreciated the association for it’s support and cooperation since the Council came to be as well as since she took over in acting capacity, the leadership of CRFFN. She equally appreciated NAGAFF for its support in all aspects of the Council’s operations, especially as it relates to membership registration and collection of the Practitioners Operating Fee, POF.
Recalling that the core mandate of the Council was to professionalize the freight forwarding sector by developing standards, providing education and training programmes for freight forwarders, she disclosed that in 2020, the Council for the first time determined the minimum qualification required to practice freight forwarding in Nigeria which according to her, was the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management or its equivalent.
“These programmes qualifies you to practice freight forwarding in Nigeria. We equally have the Executive Professional Diploma, EPD programme which serves as pathway for Certificate of Experience as provided in the CRFFN Act. The main purpose of the programme is to validate the experience and update the knowledge of Executive Officers in the freight forwarding sector through an intensive one week residential programme.
“The University of Lagos, UNILAG and some other institutions of higher learning in Nigeria have signed a Memorandum of Agreement, MOA with the Council to deliver training programmes which cuts across freight forwarding, logistics and supply chain management. I am highly optimistic that these trainings, if well harnessed, will contribute tremendously to the growth of your association and the economy at large. We hope members will continuously take advantage of these programmes and build professional capacities”, she stated.
The Acting Registrar informed that efforts are in place to ensure speedy completion and delivery of the National Institute of Freight Forwarders, NIFF building being undertaken by the Council in Abuja, which she said would further strengthen and enhance freight forwarders professional development and capacity building.
On payment of declarant fee, Mrs. Uromta acknowledged that the Council was aware of the huge outstanding remittance of that fee even as she submitted that wrong account details submitted initially by the declarants and other challenges beyond the Council’s immediate control were partly responsible for the delays being witnessed in the payment.
“We would like to assure you that efforts are in place to commence payment of all outstanding and ensure, going forward, payment of this gazetted fee as and when due. Kindly bear with us”, she appealed.
She thereafter implored the leadership of NAGAFF to assist the Council in registration of more members with and further collaborate with it on POF payment as according to her, “the proceeds from the later will serve as return on investment and will be well utilized for the purpose of continuous training for freight forwarders.”
“Together, let us elevate the standards of freight forwarding in Nigeria, thereby contributing to a robust and seamlessly connected global supply chain network”, she added.
Mrs. Uromta, therefore, assured the association that the Council would continue to facilitate and promote capacity building and other responsibilities to enhance the different aspects of the freight forwarding sector.
In his response, the Deputy National President, Seaports, NAGAFF, Mr. Afam Chukwuma assured CRFFN of full cooperation from NAGAFF in order to deliver on its mandate and achieve set objectives.
Insisting that CRFFN had not been firm enough in the collection of the POF payment at the port, Chukwuma maintained that the enforcement arm of the council was not alive and active to it’s duty adding that “there are so many people practicing without paying CRFFN, there are cargoes leaving the port without paying POF. You need to embark on strong consultation and engagement with other government agencies to get included in the Nigerian trade hub and the National Single Window. There are money flowing around in the port but you need to plug yourself into the system.”
Proposing a NAGAFF-CRFFN special committee to continue to interface on challenges and how to bring back the Council on the right track, he averred that CRFFN was a baby of NAGAFF even as he insisted that the association would do all in its powers to ensure the council survives.
On his part, the Deputy National President Headquarters, NAGAFF,Mr. Simeon Nwonu said that CRFFN had distanced itself from the stakeholders, especially NAGAFF which developed the vision for enactment of the Council’s Act He lauded the removal of the Council from the annual budgetary allocation by the federal government describing it as a wake up call for the Council to think outside the box.
“I thank God that government has removed you from the budget. It is now that you will make more money only if you liaise with NAGAFF. The maritime sector is like a mafia industry and it is a warfare, most of the government agencies would not want you to come in, so you have to fight”, Nwonu admonished.
Members of the association who took turns to air their grievances and perceived wrong done to them by CRFFN. Issues raised included non issuance of ID cards to freight forwarders by the Council, high cost of training, backlog of remittances to the declarants among others.
The visit continues on Wednesday to other freight forwarding associations accredited by the Council as well as other major stakeholders.
Photo 1: Mrs. Chinyere Uromta, Acting Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN addressing the leadership of NAGAFF during a working visit to the NAGAFF headquarters in Lagos on Monday.
Photo 2: CRFFN’s Acting Registrar, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta and her managerial team in a group photograph with the national executives of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF); when CRFFN management visited NAGAFF headquarters, on Monday.
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