Members of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have condemned plans by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria to start collection of Practitioners Operating Fees (POF) from the port, warning that it would lead to inflation
The ANLCA members also disowned six members of the association on the governing board of CRFFN, saying that they were not endorsed by the totality of ANLCA members to represent them.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of ANLCA, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi said the major interest of the members of the CRFFN board is collection of POF, which he said is an aberration. According to him, freight forwarding is the only sector where a regulatory body of professionals intends to collect money from its members.
He said, "Remember that ANLCA took them (CRFFN) to court, when we could not find solution to it, we agreed that the board members of ANLCA and the National Executive Committee (NECOM) should sit down together and find a way out, but the President did not call a joint meeting, he decided to go and make the arrangements on his own, when the time comes, we would ask questions”
"The ANLCA members on the CRFFN board were not endorsed by the board and totality of ANLCA members to represent them", he said.
Also speaking with Shipping Position Daily, a member of the association at Tin Can Island chapter, Mr. Akanni Balogun argued that collection of POF would lead to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) increasing the cost of production of goods.
Akanni said the CRFFN should rather focus its attention on how to bring all the freight forwarding associations together under a single umbrella and forget about POF collection which he said would lead to inflation.
"If the associations are unified under one umbrella, the regulations by CRFFN would be easily achieved without many hassles"
"ANLCA championed CRFFN when Elochukwu was the president, they thought that it was going to be controlled by the professionals, but unfortunately for them, the politicians have hijacked it. Most of them are interested in the POF money that they want to collect. Mind you, one bill of laden on which they want to collect this money is where we pay customs, 7% port levy, we pay even NPA, how many indirect taxes must we pay on a single bill of laden? This is the problem"
"POF would be an additional cost to the importer which they would later add to the cost of cargoes and this would lead to inflation and a burden to the society"
"Unification is the first thing they should do, if I were the chairman or the minister of transportation, I would force all of them to go under one umbrella, then it would be easier to manage. Individual associations standing alone is causing problems and crisis", he said .