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COVID-19: APFFLON Commends Stakeholders For Sustaining Aviation, Maritime Sectors

APFFLON Warns Shipping Companies, Terminals Against Arbitrary ChargesBy Kenneth Jukpor
Despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation and maritime sector in 2020, the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics in Nigeria, (APFFLON), has expressed satisfaction with the developments at seaports and airports since the outbreak.
The group has applauded stakeholders in the aviation and maritime industries for their immense contribution to the progress and development the sectors made in the past year, especially for their numerous sacrifices amid the pandemic in 2020.
In a statement by its National President, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, APFFLON said as an advocacy group, relentlessly followed activities in both sectors and could confidently commend individuals, groups as well as agencies of the government for their efforts to ensure stability of both sectors in 2020.
Part of the statement read: ”We wish to specially appreciate the Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) and its Executive Secretary, Mr. Hassan Bello for the great efforts in positioning the Council at its rightful place. We hope to see a completely sanitized system in 2021. We also commend the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) led by Hadiza Bala-Usman, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and its Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye.”
Despite some reservations in the activities of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), and other stakeholders, the group also commended the organizations for their response to the novel pandemic in 2020.
However, the association beckoned on the leadership of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to turn a new leaf in 2021, lamenting that the organization’s performance in 2020 was far below average.
“The present CRFFN management has not added value to freight forwarding practice in Nigeria since its inception. The current Registrar of the Council, rather than take the Council to greater heights, has been constantly disrespecting elders and key players in the industry. We hereby urge all associations not to be deceived by CRFFN accreditation but unite to make Nigeria take its rightful place in the comity of maritime nations,” the report said.
Ogunojemite also advised shipping companies, terminal operators and cargo handling companies at airports to improve their services and increase their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR).
While encouraging the government to expedite the rail projects and road infrastructure reconstruction to facilitate cargo evacuation from the ports, APFFLON equally advised all stakeholders at airports and seaports to channel the same unity of purpose seen in the fight against the pandemic, towards the attainment of their corporate goals.
According to Ogunojemite, such resilience, commitment and unity would lead to a better aviation and maritime sector in the country that would enhance Nigeria’s logistics performance index on the global scene and translate to better standard of living for Nigerians.
”We call on all the stakeholders to contribute collectively and individually to the greatness of aviation and maritime industry. APFFLON wishes everyone a very merry Christmas celebration and a prosperous new year in 2021,” he said.

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