Over N10 Billion to be generated
- Freight associations get life-line
At last, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) is to commence the collection of practicing fees in the port.
The levy billed to commence in February according to sources is awaiting ministerial approval.
The categories of levies to be collected depend on the collective decision of the leadership of the various five registered freight forwarding associations which have been engaged in a series of meetings on the subject matter.
Earlier, however, CRFFN and the associations had agreed that N2, 000 should be paid for a 40ft container, N1, 000 for 20ft container, N500for every car and N1, 000 for trucks cleared by the agents in the port.
But the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) had argued that the levies would increase the cost of doing business in the port, even as other stakeholders equally faulted the decisions as being inimical to business.
Confirming this, the Registrar of the Council, Sir Mike Jukwe said that the enforcement of the fees would take off anytime from February even though he did not state whether the Shippers’ Council had granted them approval.
Jukwe said that the Council had a meeting with the freight forwarding associations the penultimate week and was still awaiting a report from them.
He said, “This year, we are going into full enforcement anytime from February. We will do that (fee collection). We had a meeting with the associations; they are supposed to report certain things back to us. We are waiting to hear their report and fine-tune what we want to do and get the blessing of the Honourable Minister of Transport and we will start the process.”
He added that the amount to be collected could not be ascertained because “It is not every decision we take that we can approve by ourselves, we have approving authority,” he said.
Speaking further, he added that the Council would have a substantive Board of Council in June.
In his words, “I had a meeting last week with others and I made them to understand the sort of guidelines and time table we all agreed that the board should be constituted after the general elections and inauguration of the new government on 29th of May.
“In that perspective, we are looking towards June, we at CRFFN management suggested an earlier date but they said that immediately after the elections. So, we are looking towards June,” he stated.
He however said that the Council did not register additional freight forwarding associations different from the existing five.
The associations include; Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDDLCA), Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) and National Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC).
Meanwhile, judging from the earlier agreed fees by the various associations on the goods coming into the country, and with a rough estimate of one million TEUs coming into the country annually, the Council is set to rake over ten billion naira in a year.