- Ministry tasks agency on revenue generation
There are indications that the Federal Government would reconsider its stance on delisting the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) from the agencies to receive budgetary provisions from January 2024.
Recall that the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) had recommended that CRFFN be removed from federal government funding from January 1, 2024, a move which was greeted with commendations by some maritime stakeholders who argue that the organization is erroneously positioned as a government agency rather than a professional body.
Nigeria’s Minister for Marine and Blue Economy, Hon. Adegboyega Oyetola CON, hinted this while engaging the leadership of CRFFN at the agency’s headquarters during a working visit in Lagos, today.
Oyetola, however, charged the freight forwarding regulatory body to explore alternatives to generate revenue to guarantee its sustainability.
On her part, the Acting Registrar of CRFFN, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta argued that without the intervention of CRFFN in the freight forwarding subsector of the economy, Nigeria would have been delisted from the International Federation of Freight Forwarding Association (FIATA).
Uromta, however, stressed that the budgetary removal for CRFFN will be challenging and insufficient to find personnel cost, eventhough the Council boosts Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) with the collection of Practitioners Operating Fees (POF).
“We are optimistic that given more collaboration and interface with relevant government agencies like the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Ministry of Aviation, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Ministry of Finance (Revenue Department) etc., the Council shall surmount all problems affecting the collection of IGR which is in excess of N3 billion per annum.”
“The government needs to allow us get out revenue perfected to avoid what will affect the Nigeria’s profile at the FIATA congress”, she stated.
The Registrar also opined that the auto deduct policy of the federal government which deducts 40 percent of the Council’s revenue at source in favour of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) is very high and will affect the Council’s capacity to meet critical financial obligations following her recent removal from personnel budget.
“We are hopeful that the Budget Office of the Federation shall address this matter with a view to reviewing downwards, the 40 percent remittance or complete removal of same”, she added.
Meanwhile, she called for the urgent amendment of the Act establishing the Council which asserted only portrayed it as a professional body without capturing its regulatory functions and affiliation with FIATA, which was set-up by United Nations as a globally recognized body regulating freight forwarders.
“FIATA gives the curriculum for training of freight forwarders all over the world. They provide the certification standards through congress and various committees involving other United Nations entities like the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), among others.”
“CRFFN interfaces with FIATA in terms of capacity development, certification, payment of national membership subscription, maintaining updated membership register of qualified practitioners where shippers can easily access before contracting a freight forwarder,” she remarked.