By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even as the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has officially started collection of the controversial Practitioners Operations Fees (POF) the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has charged the Council on the need to return back and explain the sharing formula of the money.
Initially, the CRFFN had assured the clearing agents that 65% of the proceed of POF would go to the federal government while 35% would be allocated to the declarant and the freight forwarding associations.
But while launching the collection of the money in Lagos on Monday, the Registrar of CRFFN reportedly said that all the proceeds from POF would be going into Treasury Single Account (TSA) from where its technical partners; SW Gblobal would now make an application to the government to claim the 35%.
Nwakohu reportedly told journalists that the frequency of the remittances has also not been discussed with the federal government yet.
On this, the ANLCA President stressed the need for CRFFN to come back to the associations and discuss properly.
Tony Iju however maintained that ANLCA is in strong support of POF collection and it would give CRFFN benefit of doubt for one year, after which it would make an assessment and possible review.
“SW Global told us that it is not the entire money that is going to TSA, they said there is a platform where some percentage would go to the declarant, and the association for their welfare”
“What we want them to do is to come back to us and discuss properly, this is the position we are maintaining on the matter, in as much as we are supporting POF, we need to know the critical move of the POF and how to handle it”
“We are going to seat down with the Registrar and the Chairman of CRFFN, don’t forget that we have 15 freight forwarders and customs brokers in that council, all the associations are going to come together to solve our problems”
“We wouldn’t stop the collection of POF, now that it is going on and into TSA, no money is loss, we would employ everybody to be law abiding until we get it sorted out”
“This association agreed totally to pay the POF based totally on the things CRFFN has told us, they said they are going to train us from the money they are going to get which would not be going to the Treasury Single Account (TSA)”
“They promised to look into our welfare and seriously take care of the association and make sure the association is extremely in line
When we sat down, we discovered that it is much better to partner with the CRFFN and move forward”
“After all, we have been helping Customs to generate their revenue and the federal government has never deemed it fit to return any percent to us for our welfarism and training, so if CRFFN is promising to do that, we would give them a trial” Tony said
While reacting to reports that some ANLCA members have dragged CRFFN to court, seeking an injunction to stop POF collection, Tony Iju said no member of the association has written any petition to him about the POF.
He said “No single petition has come to my office or the NECOM against POF, no single member of our association has written a letter saying that they are going to court, but if that is the case, I would sincerely ask the person to hold on, let’s give CRFFN a trial and review them after one year”