Maritime

Why CRFFN is Comatose, Without Direction For 13 Months


 

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Chinyere Uromta, Ag. Registrar CRFFN

Lack of clear leadership ,misplaced priority and inappropriate use of funds have hampered the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) from carrying out its responsibilities for over a year. 

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In the last thirteen months, under an Acting Registrar, Chinyere Uromta, the CRFFN has failed to meet its core mandate and could be rightly described as the only docile agency under the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

 


It has as its core mandate to regulate and control the practice of freight forwarding and promote the highest standard of competence, practice and conduct among members of the profession in Nigeria, which has not been met for one year.

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While some stakeholders have complained about the council having a bloated governing board, the dissolution of boards by President Bola Tinubu’s administration and the absence of a substantive Registrar/ Chief Executive have adversely affected the CRFFN.

 

The council’s board dissolution have been widely viewed as inappropriate in law as there were members whose positions on the board were attained by election and therefore should be statutorily protected until the expiration of their terms in office.

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Disconnect From The Freight Forwarding Community

 

 

The Council has been detached on matters concerning freight forwarders except focusing on the collection of Practitioners Operating Fees(POF) from them.

 

 

One of CRFFN’s responsibilities to train practitioners and build their competence towards professionalism was never carried out since Uromta assumed office as Acting Registrar in January 2023.

 

Today, it is believed the council is serving only civil servant interests and not the interests of freight forwarders for which it was originally created

 

The council’s training and hostel facilities built for freight forwarders use in Abuja have not been utilised for their intended usage which puts huge maintenance cost on the council without enhancing it’s productivity.

 

 

Stalled N800m Headquarters Procurement and Controversial Movement to Abuja

 

 

The council headquarters which has been appropriately sited in Lagos over the years with moves to procure a building at about N800m already provided for has been altered under the acting registrar.

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Conscious moves are not being made towards procuring the headquarters building and attempts at tinkering with the N800m for other purposes were stopped by the former Federal Ministry of Transportation before it’s unbundling into two ministries.

 

CRFFN’s activities and source of funding after removal from budgetary allocation centres around sea ports, airports and border stations with all of such entry points in Lagos . This makes Lagos the best place to operate from as the two largest sea ports, busiest local wing and international wing of an airport with cargo section and most economically viable border station are sited.

 

Running an administrative headquarters in Abuja and operational headquarters in Lagos is way too expensive for an organisation not too sure about meeting up with staff salaries.

 

This has put the council in a state of prodigally spending the little it earns from POF collection on Duty Tour Allowances(DTA) to the tune of tens of millions on it’s management officials shuttling between Lagos and Abuja and depleting it’s resources which is dependent on the number of imported cargoes into the country.

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The POF fee is an internally generated revenue (IGR) approved by the Federal Government to be paid by freight forwarders.

Under the POF regime, freight forwarders pay N3.5 per tone of cargo imported into the country, N1.5 per kilo for air cargo, N1, 000 on each imported 20-feet container and N2, 000 per 40-feet container.

 

According to the proposed sharing formula of the POF collection, 25 per cent of the revenue will go into the Federation account towards nation-building, while 35 per cent is given to freight forwarders and associations.

 

 

A further breakdown of the 35 percent to freight forwarders and associations is that; 10% officially have been given to associations, 5% was approved to the declarants that pay the POF.

 

The remaining 20% is to be used for training purposes for freight forwarders.

Meanwhile, the remaining 40 per cent will be shared between S. W. Global, technical partners to the CRFFN.

S. W. Global gets 20 per cent while CRFFN gets the remaining 20 per cent.



Ismail Aniemu

Ismail Aniemu, Publisher of JournalNG and ghost writer, is a maritime journalist of over two decades' of practice with multidisciplinary background. He holds a masters degree in Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH) with bias for logistics. He is also an alumnus of the Times Journalism Institute where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Journalism. Email: ismail.aniemu@aol.com

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