By Gboyega Oni
A university don, Professor Iyiola Oni of the University of Lagos, Lagos has called for professionalization of freight forwarding in Nigeria through training and retraining of freight forwarders as the nation’s economy needs more knowledgeable freight forwarders who can support its growth.
He added that freight forwarding in the country should be practised in accordance with the international freight forwarding standards.
Professor Iyiola Oni, who is the dean, faculty of social science of the university, advocated this in a paper on Freight Forwarding Practice and National Development which he presented at the Freight Forwarders’ Day 2018 organised by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Thursday in Lagos.
Oni noted that goods freighting in the country heavily depends on road transportation more than railway and water that are not helping in the movement of goods as expected and charged government to commit more investments in the re-constructing of all the damaged roads in the country.
The don advised government to develop a roadmap for freight forwarding and effective shipping policy towards professionalising the business.
Another speaker, Dr. Alban Igwe, Deputy President, Nigerian Institute of freight Forwarding (NIFF), stated that Nigeria as a nation cannot do without freight forwarding, saying ‘’any country that is casual about the role of freight forwarding will not progress.’’
He charged government to give adequate support to the development of the profession because ‘’the operators are the gatekeeper who would guide government on cargo movement.’’
Earlier in his address, the President of NAGAFF, Chief Increase Uche, said that the association through advocacy, training, participation in various government committees on port among others has brought a lot of changes to the practice of freight forwarding in the country since its birth in 1999.
‘’I wish to state that NAGAFF has done so well in her efforts at enthroning professionalism through industry transformation and innovations which the association has brought to bear in the freight forwarding profession in Nigeria,’’ Increase Uche noted and said that the essence of the occasion was to appreciate the contributions of freight forwarders to the growth of the nation’s economy.
He charged the Chairman of the governing board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni to tackle various challenges facing professionals, enforce the provisions of the CRFFN Act and collaborate with other stakeholders and commence training and capacity building of the professionals.
Speaking at the event, which was supported by Sterling Bank, Mr. Wale Adefope, Business Executive, Commercial Banking, Sterling Bank, commended the association on the Freight Forwarders’ Day 2018 and its giant strides towards the growth of freight forwarding in the country.
Adefope noted that Sterling Bank has a lot of investment portfolios designed to grow the industry and implored port stakeholders to take advantage of the investment packages to grow their businesses. ‘’We are ready to support stakeholders to grow their businesses,’’ said Adefope.