From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has vowed to detain at the ports all cargo belonging to freight forwarders who refuse to pay their Practitioners Operating Fee (POF).
Of the 787 total registered persons, the regulator said that only 64 are practising legitimately at the nation’s ports and borders, with the rest yet to comply as the enforcement began on Monday, October 5, 2020.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday, the CRFFN Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sam Nwakohu, warned that any freight forwarder that refuses to pay the POF would not be allowed to move his or her cargo from the ports.
He noted that its enforcement has become very effective “following the successful integration with terminal operators in the Western ports.” According to him, the POF, which is derived from the provisions of Section 6 of the CRFFN Act, is a major source of the council’s internally generated revenue for the government, and for driving the necessary reforms and developing the industry
“Integration with terminal operators in the Eastern ports is ongoing and we shall communicate to you accordingly with respect to enforcement of same there,” Nwakohu said.
“The user-public is strongly advised to verify the authenticity of the freight forwarder to engage on the CRFFN website. This is to ensure you are dealing with a registered freight forwarder.
“We really want to appreciate the body of shippers and freight forwarders who operate under very difficult conditions to keep Nigeria moving. The CRFFN will do its best to provide the enabling environment for the freight forwarding industry.”
Meanwhile, he dismissed the possibility of resistance to the payment, stating that the POF, now nine years old, is a government provision and has been with the CRFFN long before he became registrar. Therefore, whoever decides not pay will not take his or her cargo out of the ports.
“We have written to all the accredited associations. We are done with sensitisation. We will be publishing the names of freight forwarders whose subscriptions are up to date very soon on our website.
“As at today, we only have about 64 freight forwarders whose payments and subscriptions are up to date, in line with the law regulating the freight forwarding practise in Nigeria. These are the people we can validly call freight forwarders as at today.
“We will be updating that list as more people pay their subscription to the CRFFN. On our register, we have 787 names of freight forwarders that are practising at the ports and borders, but only 64 are practising legitimately as at today.”