Freight Associations Trade Blames As POF Collection Stalls

Freight Associations Trade Blames As POF Collection StallsBy Kenneth Jukpor

Two of the foremost freight forwarding associations in the country have engaged in blame games following the abysmal compliance to the collection of Practitioners Operating Fees (POF) by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).

The Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has attributed the delay in the collection of POF to the ongoing Board of Trustees (BOT) crisis at the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA).

Aniebonam made this claim while speaking during an exclusive chat with MMS Plus newspaper last week.

“Most people think the problem of POF collection is just the sharing formula, but the truth is that there is an internal problem in ANLCA. I don’t even understand why the matters concerning the BOT should affect the administration of the association but it is affecting it.”

“The President of ANLCA is the head of ANLCA’s National Executive Council (NECOM) and you would expect that this issue should disrupt the association but it is also affecting their members and subsequently POF collection,” he said.

Reacting to this, the President of ANLCA, Mr. Tony Iju Nwabunike debunked claims that ANLCA BOT conflict was stifling the take off of POF collection at the ports.

“ANLCA doesn’t have any problem with POF. If it has started, it is platform where you go and pay. Nothing stops anyone from paying. If NAGAFF is ready, let them go ahead and pay. If my company is ready, it would come forward and pay. The issue is that people must come forward and agree to pay this,” Nwabunike said.

Meanwhile, he identified NAGAFF’s court action against CRFFN as a mitigating factor against the take off of the POF collection.

MMS Plus investigations, however, show that access to the POF refund by declarants and associations is another major impediment to the commencement of the POF collection.

The POF sharing formula has 20% to CRFFN, 20% for the technical partners involved in the collection, SW Global, 25% allotted as Internally Generated Revenue for the federal government and 35% for the declarant (freight forwarder).

100 percent of the fund would first go into government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) and applications would have to be made for any party to access the fund. While CRFFN and SW Global could apply for their percentages, it is unclear how freight forwarders or the associations will get theirs.

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