The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN), has embarked on a partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) PLC, to create an automated payment system for the collection of the Practitioners’ Operating Fees (POF) in a bid to ensure transparency.
CRFFN in partnership with a group of experts that built the same automation process that worked in Nigerian Immigration Service and Driver’s Licensing Office will automate the POF collection process.
A one-week sensitization training, conducted by the Enforcement Monitoring Team of CRFFN for members of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), kicked off yesterday at the NAGAFF Village, and is coming on the heels of the directive from the Federal Government to commence the collection of POF.
Throwing more light on the issue while addressing Journalists, one of the resource person and the Managing Director, Net Post, Mr. Kelechi Dozie said that the government wants to automate the revenue process so as to make it transparent and through the partnership with NIBSS the Council is connected to all the 25 banks in Nigeria and payments can be available through debit cards, Point Of Service (POS) machines and online payments.
According to him,” checks and balances will be achieved through reconciliation of the manifest at the end of every month using a tracking system for each payment through the Bill of Laden and a unique transaction number.
Kelechi added that in event of any discrepancies the Council will make a report to the Ministry of Transport and the relevant associations since part of the POF goes back to the associations as well.
In a separate address, the National President NAGAFF, Dr. Eugene Nweke expressed satisfaction at the recognition of maritime associations by the Federal Government.
In his words, “there are some people who would have wanted this money to go to their pockets rather than use it to serve the requisite purpose but now that the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly has been notified, it is a privilege that government has recognized that associations in the industry has come of age and can be used as a tool to bring about a better working environment in the port system.
On the controversial POF, Nweke said “the training is to ensure that no practitioner or stakeholder would say that he or she is not aware of the POF collection because there will be reactions but the point is that all must comply or face a tribunal.”