CRFFN Election: Registered Associations Agree 6-6-1-1-1 Sharing Formula
By Kenneth Jukpor
Following a meeting of the five registered associations under the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), the groups have agreed to retain the sharing formula of 6-6-1-1-1 in the upcoming CRFFN Governing Board elections.
The agreed formula sees the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) get 6 slots, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 6 slots, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) picks 1, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) gets 1 and the National Association of Freight Forwarders and Airfreight Consolidators (NAFFAC) gets 1.
At a meeting for all freight forwarders and customs brokers under the aegis of All Freight Forwarders Forum (AFF), practitioners unanimously agreed to the arrangement even as they resolved to ensure only those candidates that emerge from associations are eligible to be voted for in the polls.
Speaking at the conference, the National President of ANLCA, Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike expressed concerns that the government could hijack CRFFN, while stating that the associations will not fold their hands and allow the freight forwarding sub-sector to collapse.
He, however, assured that the marriage among the five associations will not be broken, this is even as he said the associations will work out modalities on how to improve on port efficiency in promoting ease of doing business in cargo clearance.
On his part, the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam called on stakeholders who are yet to register with any of the accredited associations with CRFFN in the sub sector to do so in line with freight forwarding regulation mandates.
He asserted that postponement of the screening of candidates without informing the candidates nor the associations is a prove of unpreparedness on the part of the committee to handle the task, while expressing doubt on the capability of the committee to conduct a credible election into the Governing Council of CRFFN.
Meanwhile, NAFFAC President, Prince Adeyinka Bakare, asserted that the maritime sector is as important as the oil and gas industry, while stressing the need for all freight forwarders to be united and address the numerous anomalies in the sector.
At the meeting, the group condemned the recent increment in the value of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) by Nigeria Customs Service, describing the move as a flagrant abuse of power by the Customs.
They also observed that the tariff of some goods aren’t well-defined with several having same HS Codes, which avails Customs officers a tool to manipulate the values of items and demand additional charges.
According to the practitioners, there should be no benchmark for PAAR on consignments because such fees should be based on value.
They also stressed that the Federal Government should desist from giving revenue targets to Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) as it has become a tool for exploiting Nigerians, adding that the primary role of Customs according to WCO/ WTO is trade facilitation and not revenue generation.
Nevertheless, the Forum cautioned their members to desist from wrong declarations which encourages multiple Customs units on port access roads and the highways.