- APFFLON laments exclusion from monitoring exercise
Transport Ministry officials in collaboration with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and registered freight forwarding associations are set to commence a monitoring exercise on the implementation of Practitioners Operating Fees (POF) at Nigerian seaports, airports and land borders.
News Diet gathered this information from a letter by the Transport Ministry dated June 1st, 2023 with Ref. No: MT2120/527/1/140, addressed to the five freight forwarding associations registered with CRFFN.
CRFFN accredited associations are; Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN), and Nigerian Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC).
According to the letter signed by Deputy Director, Inland Container Depot, Mr. Ewache A. Victor, titled; “Joint Monitoring Exercise by the Officials of the Ministry and Staff of CRFFN to the CRFFN operations at Seaports, Airports, Land and Border”, the Transport Ministry and CRFFN officials will visit registered associations and subsequently inspect ports and land border activities in line with the collection of POF.
Reacting to this, the President of Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Otunba Frank Ogunojemite lamented that the planned exercise is another deliberate attempt to violate the CRFFN Act which also recognizes individuals and companies.
“The assessment visit, according to the Federal Ministry of Transportation, is aimed at monitoring compliance of the collection of POF, and will also enable the Ministry identify challenges and possibly intervene to smoothen and engender a convenient ambience for a seamless international trade facilitation.”
“APFFLON wish to call the attention of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to Nigeria constitution that allows Freedom of associations and the CRFFN Act under Section 4, where it unambiguously states the three membership categories of the Council to include; Associations, Corporate Bodies and Individuals. We are appalled by the deliberate marginalization of Corporate Bodies and Individuals by the Ministry while it is obvious that the Accredited Associations amount to only 30% of port users,” the Association queried.
APFFLON in its letter titled; ” Deliberate Violation of CRFFN Act and Freedom of Association by The Federal Ministry of Transportation”, argued that the planned exercise with only one category of CRFFN membership ‘Freight forwarding Associations’ is a breach of the CRFFN Act that could fuel anarchy at the ports and borders.
“Ignoring corporate bodies and individuals negates the Section 4 of the CRFFN Act which unambiguously states the three categories that should form the Council’s membership. We hereby call the attention of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation to address this infraction because the continuous violating of Section 4 of the CRFFN Act and freedom of other associations will cast the Ministry in bad light,” the statement concluded.