From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Council Regulation for Freight Forward in Nigeria(CRFFN) in collaboration with the Convention on Business Integrity and other stakeholders organized a one day workshop for freight forwarders to equip, upgrade them on digitization with intent to compete with global market.
The programme which was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to pay more attention to the freight forward business in the country to enhance the logistics index in the global market.
Speaking, Dr.Alban Igwe, CRFFN Director Education and Training revealed that the aim of the workshop with the theme “Digitization of Cargo Import and Export Services, and Business Integrity in Nigerian Maritime Industry” was to make freight forward in Nigeria very competitive in the global market.
He stated that the global market for shipping and International logistics is becoming fearsome, saying that Nigeria ranks the 110 position out of 160 in the logistics performance index.
Igwe who is also a Deputy National President for the Chartered Institute of Logistics in Nigeria, noted the challenges facing the freight forwarders in the business, adding that sensitisation among government and freight forwarders is the way to go.
Igwe noted that freight forwarding business is an international business with a lot of implications, on security and safety of a nation,apart from developmental implication.
He said “I can tell you that government is not fully aware of this parameters and how much damage its doing to our nation,
“Freight forwarding functions is key to improving our logistics performance index, if we improve the capacity on infrastructure which is beyond the capacity of freight forwarders, you will see that we will record improvement in the metric,”he said.
“A freight forwarder who is not fully aware of the standards of the act may compromise the security and safety of the nation by clearing dangerous goods like arms and aminations illegally brought into the country.
“We organised this workshop to sensitize freight forwarders to equip, upgrade themselves by digitalization and other skills associated with the field to enable them remain competitive in the global market.
“Freight forwarders cannot be digitized without integrity, we urge you not to put false information online because the information should be reliable and investigatable.
On his part, Mr Soji Apampa, Chief Executive Officer for Convention on Business Integrity urged freight forwarders to sign up to the integrity alliance which is a decoration against corruption, CRFFN, Shippers Council, Maritime Anti corruption Network in Nigeria among others to improve in their business.
Engr Dokubo Obongo, the Deputy Manager, Mainstream and Downstream Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board(NCDMB), said the workshop was a welcome development when it comes to the local content philosophy.
Representing Engr Sinibi Wabote, Obongo, the Executive Secretary, for NCDMB stated that the local content board is ready to collaborate with the initiative of the shippers council, CRFFN and other agencies.
He urged federal government to reorganise the port operations because the country is losing market to investors from neighbouring West African countries which is a huge threat to the revenue income from freight forwarding in the country.
Earlier, Mr Samuel Nwakohu, the Registrar for CRFFN urged freight forwarders to log complain on their challenges to the appropriate channels set up by Federal Government for proper solution.