The Concerned Accredited Freight Forwarding Association (CAFFA) has advice the Federal Government to subject policies that have to do with foreign exchange to due consultation and not general pronouncement as a general pronouncement affects not only the trading community but as well as the masses.
The group made this call through its coordinator Dr. Eugene Nweke during a one-day seminar organized by CAFFA in collaboration with the Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN), titled: professional On-line Service/Operational Tracking and Administrative training workshop.
Nweke who is also the National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), said, “The government has realized that they cannot regulate the circulation of foreign currency in the Nigerian market, so government is trying to mop up the foreign currency out there, that informed the idea of placing restrictions on certain items by denying importers of such goods foreign exchange from the legitimate source but rather than the desired result, people started to hoard the dollar itself and that has worsened the economic situation even more.”
He added, “People now package dollars as commodity for export. This policy might be well intended but the approach is totally misguided. There are certain policies that require a gradual process. It is not enough for Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to say they have met with their experts, no; it needs to conduct opinion pool in the market, weight the impact before going to suggest to Mr. President to approve certain policies.”
Regarding the seminar and its relevance to the industry, Nweke stated, “Before now the freight forwarding profession was not accorded any respect or any form of recognition when the old term clearing and forwarding was used to identify the profession, the Nigerian society seemed to take the freight forwarding profession as a business for fraudsters but over time, due to the inability of the Federal Government to create jobs for our graduates and non-graduates, a crowd of freight forwarders dominated by people who do not have any form of formal or professional training was formed. This is why NAGAFF emerged in 1999. Our understanding is that in another 20years we should have created a platform that will usher in sustainable freight forwarding in Nigeria.”
Nweke who was speaking to the press on the sidelines, further explained “With frequent trainings, we intend to have what we call professional code of conduct that must be adhered to and if anyone does anything contrary to this code of conduct that person will be shortlisted.
“Before now people conduct themselves unprofessionally and do things with impunity. Freight forwarding globally is not a money making profession, it is a service delivery profession here we shortcut service. With the professional freight forwarding regulatory body, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and trained professional freight forwarders by the end of this year we will come back together again to evaluate our progress.” He said.
By Ifeoma Oguamanam