By DAPO OLAWUNI
Two freight forwarding associations in the maritime industry; the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics (APFFLON) has warned the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) not to collect the controversial Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) while the case is still pending in court.
DAILY TREND NEWS reported exclusively at the weekend that the CRFFN has announced 1st of August 2021 as the new date for the commencement of POF collection, even as it charged port terminals not to release any cargoes that has not paid the due.
The CRFFN is targeting more than N10 billion annually from the collection of the POF. Every 20foot container is expected to pay N1,500 while a 40foot container would pay N2,500.
In a chat with our correspondent, Chairman of PTML Chapter of ANLCA, Elder Oluwole Obey argued that some members of the association had dragged CRFFN to court over the POF collection, and that, until the determination of the matter in court, the POF cannot commence.
The ANLCA Chairman warned that any attempt by the terminal operators to commence the POF collection would be met with strict resistance from the freight forwarders.
He also warned that the association would picket any terminal operator that tries to collect the POF before releasing cargo.
Also in chat with our correspondent, former Chairman of Apapa chapter of ANLCA, Olumide Fakanlu said the court is yet to rule on the POF collection, adding that any collection at this time is illegal.
Recall that CRFFN had first made an attempt to collect the controversial money in March 1st 2021, but it was met with outcry from freight forwarders and a subsequent law suit by various groups.
Also reacting to news of CRFFN intention to begin the collection, President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite said POF collection would cause additional hardship on Nigerians at this time
“How would CRFFN be collecting money on Cargoes instead from freight forwarders? To be honest i can’t comment on the POF case because the matter is the court. We actually needs justice in the this country”
“Since the case is at the court, we have to deviate from self help” he stated.