Tension At Nigerian Ports As CRFFN Kicks Off POF Collection At Terminals

…TICT Terminal Demands POF Payment Evidence Before Cargo Release

…Freight Forwarders Blast NAGAFF Leadership For Supporting Collection

By DAPO OLAWUNI

There is palpable tension at Nigerian ports over the planned collection of the controvertial Practitioners Operations Fee (POF) by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) billed to kick off at the port terminals today, Monday, March 1st 2021.

The CRFFN is proposing to rake billions of Naira from freight forwarding practitioners by collecting N2,000 on every forty foot container leaving the ports, and N1,000 on twenty foot containers.

Already, one of the terminal operators; Tin Can Island Container Terminal Limited (TICT) have warned freight forwarders that they must produce evidence and receipt of payment of the POF before Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) for them to take delivery of their consignments.

In the notice to all clearing agents, dated 25th of February 2021, sighted by DAILY TREND NEWS, the terminal stated that “Please be informed that as from Monday 1st of March 2021, all agents will have to show evidence of payment of CRFFN POF before being issued with TDO. This will be strictly enforced, kindly be guided”

Recall that the CRFFN had announced last year 2020 its plans to move to the port and commence collection of the controvertial POF. The move was however truncated because terminal operators refused to carry out the collection except they are given a certain percentage of the money.

There are indications that the CRFFN and the terminal operators have now reached an agreement on reasonable percentage.

Meanwhile, freight forwarders are already spoiling for war with any terminal operator that attempts to delay their cargo delivery on account of not paying POF. At the Tin Can Island Port for example, the freight forwarders and clearing agents are planning to picket the TICT Terminal on Monday.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) have distanced itself from such moves, even as it advised NAGAFF members to comply fully with payment of the POF.

In a Notice to all Freight Forwarders, sighted by our correspondent on social media, the association informed that collection of POF commences Monday 1st of March, 2021.

“The receipt which is the evidence of payment to CRFFN must be inluded in the documentation to write and collect TDO from any Terminal.

“So, please always comply to the new development for ease of doing business in Nigeria Ports etc.

“Kindly inform your Importers and Exporters as you clear and forward their Containers and General Cargoes all the time”

On account of this notice however, NAGAFF has been alleged to have compromised against interest of its members.

Commenting on social media, one Le Amoral stated that “Nagaff have compromised… Nagaff of all people…That is to say no association to stand for us. Before now if your work have problem you’re on your own”

Adeshinaayo Adigun on his part said “Mad people this is time to cut your head off”

Godwin Oche said “The irregularities in the system is bad, look at shipping lines taking our refunds and to load a container from tincan port is hell, NPA is coming up with call-up app, my take here have they try it and see how effective it is before implimenting it my take anyway”

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