Despite inheriting less than thirty active corporate members at the National Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC) one year ago when the President General, Prince Adeyinka Bakare assumed office, the association now boasts over three hundred corporate members.
Bakare revealed this during a parley with journalists under the aegis of Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) last week.
According to the NAFFAC President General, the giant strides in upturn of membership has been as a result of intentional strategic efforts to market the association with its rich history and unique role in freight forwarding business in the country.
Bakare also lamented that the greatest challenge in the freight forwarding business remains the poor and erroneous perception about the freight forwarding practitioners in Nigeria.
While noting that the problem was popular among transport stakeholders, including top Directors at the Ministry of Transportation and other government agencies, he admonished them to accept the fact that freight forwarding is a profession, and not an all-comers affair.
“The greatest challenge I have observed as President of NAFFAC in the last one year is that the image of the profession still remains a big problem; I could remember sometime last year we went to the Ministry of Finance and while we were talking I told them I am a freight forwarder and one of the Directors said what is freight forwarding, and it took me some time to explain to him what freight forwarding is all about.”
“He said I should have just said clearing agent, so I had to explain to him the difference. This is a big problem and it is really drawing us aback” he said.
The NAFFAC president also stated that the inability of Nigeria Freight forwarders to handle some specific projects in the country has also hindered the growth of the practitioners in the country.
“Another challenge is the capacity of the Nigeria freight forwarding organizations to handle some specific projects, this is also a very big challenge and when you look at this it is really taking us aback. You will see a Chinese company in Nigeria who wants to deal with a Chinese freight forwarder probably because they believe they have the capacity and I put it straight that there is no Nigeria freight forwarder that handles top project cargoes. Majority of the project cargoes go to foreign companies and this is very bad for Nigerian practitioners” he remarked.
Highlighting some of his achievement in the office in the last one year, he said “Within one yea, we have re-engineered the association and to make our voices heard. We are reviving the chapters that were not performing well. In the next few days, our Port Harcourt Airport chapter will be coming onboard and in another few months we will be putting Calabar and Abuja back to life. We are also expanding, the membership of the association with CRFFN to make sure that our members are registered” he said.