…Establishes Unified Voice for Freight Forwarders
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has instructed the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) to put all activities of its newly established taskforce on hold, pending further actions by CRFFN.
The Council has also announced that it would be carrying out categorisation of the various freight forwarding associations that are registered under the Council and also reevaluate their registration process to ensure they are still operating according to guidelines of the CRFFN.
Recall that NAGAFF had last weekend inaugurated a 150-man team named “100% Compliance Presidential Team” with the intention of ensuring that stakeholders including terminal operators, shipping companies, freight forwarders, Nigeria Customs Service and importers comply with existing laws and ensure corruption is stamped out of Nigerian ports.
However, an extra ordinary emergency meeting of the highest leadership of all the Accredited Associations under CRFFN was convened two days ago. At the end of the meeting, resolutions were reached.
In a statement signed by the Chairman Governing Board of CRFFN, Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar which was sent to DAILY TREND NEWS yesterday, the Council announced that it is embarking on a lot of reforms which would ultimately transform the freight forwarding sector and establish a new body known as “Federation of Freight Forwarding Associations of Nigeria”
According to the CRFFN Chairman, this body shall among other objectives, serve as the central and unifying voice of the freight forwarding associations.
It shall upon coming on board be a stronger global representative aligning the freight forwarding associations and practitioners in Nigeria to the comity of freight forwarding nations, especially the FIATA.
Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar also assured that CRFFN would embark on a review of the registration process for the various associations to ensure that they are operating in line with the provisions of the Council. He said any association or individual found wanting shall be greatly penalised.
On the taskforce committee formed by NAGAFF, he said “The Council duty is to set standard for best of practices, regulate and moderate such practices where and when necessary to foster industry disciplines and harmony”
“To this direction, the leadership of various Accredited Associations who has course to set up compliance committees to tackle operational challenges are duly commended, especially the management of NAGAFF”
“However, such Committees has been directed to put on hold their activities pending the restructuring and reintegration processes by the council In line with its regulatory objective”
Tsanni expressed worries that the freight forwarders over the years have been badly reported by the media, and there is need to embark on positive reforms in line with the directives of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Ease of Doing Business Order among the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA’s)
On accredited associations performance and reevaluation, he said the “Council shall direct its Registration Committee to commence visitations to all the Accredited Associations Secretaries”
“The Committee shall in consultation with the council’s management develop the reevaluation and reassessment templates, criterion through which the requirement for retaining the association accreditation shall be; the Governing Council shall adopt and act on the report and recommendations by it”
On Corporate and Individual Membership Registration, he said “It is Important to reiterate that, the provision of the Act is clear on practitioners whose names are not found in the CRFFN Register of Height Forwarders”
“For emphasis sake, It is an offense to practice or been seen as a freight forwarder when you are not properly registered. The Council shall approve for the last time a grace period for nonregistered freight forwarders which shall be communicated by the Council Registrar. Similarly, any practitioner reported by his/her clients or any other critical stakeholder for professional misconduct should be prepared to face the tribunal”
Alhaji Tsanni expressed deep appreciations to freight forwarding practitioners for their cooperation towards the commencement Practitioners Operations Fees (POF) collections.