The Congregation of Registered Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria (CREFFPON) has expressed dismay with the way and manner the leadership of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) is putting more energy in revenue collection than addressing the myriad of operational challenges being faced by freight forwarders in the ports daily.
Reacting to the notice by the CRFFN on the commencement of the POF collection with effect from the 1st day of March 2021, CREFFPON said that this act has shown that the CRFFN has brazenly demonstrated its administrative carelessness towards the plights of the freight forwarders with the way is going about the collection.
CREFFPON noted that the present leadership of the CRFFN lacks the prerequisite knowledge of running and administering a professional body like CRFFN saddled with the tasks of training and retraining of freight forwarders. It maintained that since the leadership came on board, it has never embarked on training freight forwarders.
“The CRFFN with an incomplete administrative structure appears to be in terrible haste to perpetuate extended exploitation and compound the prevailing suppression, exploitation, and extortions heaped on the freight forwarders in our ports cargo clearance chain.
“Ideally, the CRFFN is saddled with the tasks of training and retraining for skill acquisition; setting operational standards; defend the cause of Professionalism, promote the culture of transparency to ease noticeable bottlenecks in operations; regulate and sanction ailing Practitioner; create an enabling environment that will guarantee the welfare of the Practitioners; etc.
“Unfortunately, the CRFFN has kept mute and mouth sealed while the Freight Forwarders are being tossed up and down, jumping from pillar to post, kneeling and begging just to make a living from their chosen profession. This singular act exhibited by the CRFFN shows that its interest is only revenue-driven regardless of the wellbeing of the practitioners’ business and the profession itself.
“Today, the Practitioners are not only helpless but highly disillusioned due to no positive leadership representation both from the accredited Associations and the CRFFN,” said CREFFPON.
On the way forward, the Congregation noted that it is not against the collection of POF but called on the CRFFN to rise up to its regulatory obligations by addressing without further delays the myriads of operational challenges presently faced by freight forwarders on daily basis, before contemplating the enforcement of POF collection
“The CRFFN should owe her services obligations more to the Practitioners than the Government. The POF collection, if it was agreed to facilitate prompt capacity building objectives, the CREFFPON is not against, but from moves exhibited so far, that initial agreement can no longer be guaranteed in the face of unfolding events. Therefore, the CRFFN should repeat and carry out a holistic sensitization and enlightenment of stakeholders and practitioners on the matter of POF collection and the importance and benefits therefrom.
“The CREFFPON emphatically condemns the ridiculous move to commence the POF collection without the input and involvement of the elected freight forwarders on the board of CRFFN. The CREFFPON queries and presently doubts the accountability and uprightness in the financial management of the POF collection without the elected freight forwarders supervising the processes.
“We wish to state in strong terms that the administration of the Council with a present composite of 95% non-professionals is not acceptable. It has become obvious that the Government through the machination of the transport Ministry should be told to refrain from equating and treating a professional Council to a mere agency of the Government.
“The CRFFN should immediately suspend the POF collection intent until it shows commitment to the welfare of practitioners, this is paramount,” said CREFFPON.