By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Chairman Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar has given non-professionalism as main reasons why foreigners continue to practice freight forwarding, thereby snatching jobs that belongs to Nigerians.
Tsanni while addressing members of the Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) at Rockview Hotel in Apapa on Wednesday harped the need for payment of the Practitioners Operations Fees (POF) so as to ensure training and re-training of freight forwarders.
According to him, it is only in the freight forwarding sector that an any individuals leave their villages, come to the ports and start practicing freight forwarding without any prior training.
He however warned that all these has come to an end, as the Council is now ensuring that anybody that must practice freight forwarding must first register with CRFFN.
He said that 20% of the POF collection is dedicated for training and re-training of freight forwarders.
“When people are fighting and arguing that they would not pay POF, I sympathies with them because they don’t know the benefits of it.
“You cannot just leave Anambra or Kano and just come into the port and start practicing. There is no serious profession or sector that allows people to just carry their bags from their village, go to to the CAC for registration and continue practicing, it is only seen in freight forwarding business.
“This is why today, a foreigner is coming into Nigeria to do clearing, shipping lines and terminal operators would continue giving you people uneccessary problems.
There should be no reason for that, this is our country, you cannot go to China and do that.
“But this time around, with your corporation, we are ready to give you all the necessary support to ensure that freight forwarding business is developed in Nigeria” Alhaji Tsanni assured
The CRFFN Chairman reiterated that between now and December 2022, any freight forwarding association that does not associate with the CRFFN has no place to do any business in the port.
While giving the criteria for accreditation of freight associations in Nigeria, he said such associations must be registered in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), it must have a functional head office in Lagos or any port city in Nigeria
“It must have a zonal or chapter offices at Lagos seaport or cargo airport, Port Harcourt seaport or cargo airport, and at least one land border state.
“It must employ a minimum of two employees in each of the offices and have chapter and zonal elected officers. These are the requirements for any association to be accredited.
“Very soon, we are going to ask the committee on registration to invite all the associations and tell them the process, under Section 6, subsection 1 of the CRFFN Act” he said
Alhaji Tsanni lamented the lack of coordination and organisation among freight forwarding associations, saying that this was why the Freight Forwarders Consultative Forum was created.
“If there is a table where everybody would come out and speak whatever they agree, there is no best thing that bring solutions than dialogue
With this consultative forum, there is no need for going on strikes actions, you can be meeting and discussing the problems.
“As soon as we sanitize this profession, everybody would benefit from it.
Whatever complaints Freight Forwarders are having should be directed to the CRFFN and the council will take the fight to the doors of the necessary agencies. Where it is above us, the Ministry would come in, or the presidency” he said