CRFFN Seeks POF Collection On Wet Cargo, Review FG No-Funding Policy

CRFFN Seeks POF Collection On Wet Cargo, Review FG No-Funding Policy
From left: Mr. Benson Ojumah, Director, Research, Planning & Development; Mrs Chinyere Uromta, Ag. Registrar/CEO;Mr. Ikima, Deputy Director, Finance and Accounts; Mrs. Agnes Adeshiyan, Deputy Director, Administration and Human Resources, all of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria(CRFFN) during the visit by the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola to their office, last week.

The Acting Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Mrs. Chinyere Uromta has called on the Federal Government to review its decision on the discontinuation of funding for the Council by January 1, 2023.

She also appealed that the Council be allowed to collect Practitioners Operating Fees(POF) on wet cargo to widen their sources of Internally Generated Revenue(IGR)

Uromta  made this appeal in an address she presented to the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola during his maiden visit to the headquarters of the Council in Lagos on Wednesday, stating that enlisting the CRFFN as one of the agencies that should no longer enjoy budgetary allocation from the Federal Government will limit its effectiveness in the maritime and logistics industry..

According to her, without the intervention of the CRFFN in the freight forwarding subsector of the economy, Nigeria would have been delisted from the International Federation of Freight Forwarding Associations, FIATA.

Recalling that the Presidential Committee on Salaries, PCS had recommended that CRFFN be removed from Federal Government funding from January 1, 2023, the Registrar observed that the development was quite challenging as the Council’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR presently was not sufficient to fund its personnel cost.

“However, we are optimistic that given more collaboration and interface with relevant government agencies like the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Nigerian Ports Authority, Federal Ministry of Finance (Revenue Department) etc., the Council shall surmount all problems affecting the collection of IGR which is in excess of N3 billion per annum.

“The government needs to allow us get out revenue perfected to avoid what will affect the Nigeria’s profile at the FIATA congress”, she stated.

The Registrar opined that the auto deduct policy of the Federal Government which deducts 40 percent of the Council’s revenue at source in favour of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF was considered very high and had been affecting the Council’s capacity to meet up with its critical financial obligations as a result of her recent removal from personnel budget by January 2024.

“We are hopeful that the Budget Office of the Federation shall address this matter with a view to reviewing downwards, the 40 percent remittance or complete removal of same”, she added.

She thereafter called for the urgent amendment of the Act establishing the Council which she said portrayed it only as a professional body without capturing it as a regulatory agency of the Federal Government as well as an international regulatory body for freight forwarding standards set up by a United Nations and globally recognized body called the International Federation of Freight Forwarding Associations, FIATA.

“FIATA gives the curriculum for training of freight forwarders all over the world, they provide the certification standards through its Congress and various committees involving other United Nations entities like the World Trade Organization, WTO, IMO, ICAO etc. CRFFN interfaces with FIATA in terms of capacity development, certification, payment of national membership subscription, maintaining updated membership register of qualified practitioners where Shippers can easily access before contracting a freight forwarder.

“His Excellency Sir, the Act that created the agency did not take cognizance of the fact that the agency’s core mandate was to regulate freight forwarding practice in Nigeria rather the Act provided for the agency as a professional body hence we are making a clarion call for urgent amendment of the CRFFN Act.

“Correcting the anomalies in the Council establishment laws, with the expanded Blue Economy mandate of the Ministry of Marine and the AfCFTA regime, we need an amended Act that addresses education, registration and regulation of the freight forwarding practice in Nigeria. The repositioning of the Council will definitely bring the sanity that is required in the freight forwarding industry and invariably also impact on revenue generated from our regulatory functions”, she submitted.

Mrs. Uromta, therefore, appealed to the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy to assist the Council in facilitating CRFFN integration with the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and the Nigerian Ports Authority over the Lekki Deep seaport which she said we’re the sources of the Council’s IGR saying, “following the removal of subsidy from the petroleum products, CRFFN should be allowed to collect Practitioners Operating Fee, POF on wet cargo which is another source of IGR for the Council.”

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