...Urges stakeholders to attend public hearing on CRFFN Act amendment
The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has denied allegations that it was encouraging proliferation of freight forwarding associations in the maritime sector by giving recognition to four newly- established associations.Key stakeholders had expressed their concerns to Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week that there were some newly-formed associations lobbying the council for accreditation, three among which are; the International Freight Forwarders Association (IFFA) headed by Dr. Sam Onyemelukwe, the Save Nigeria Importers Exporters and Freight Forwarders Coalition (SNIEFFC) Coordinated by Osita Patrick Chukwu and The Association of Nigeria Customs Brokers headed by Basil Nwolisa.But, speaking with our correspondent last weekend, Registrar of CRFFN, Sir Mike Jukwe said that none of the associations had been recognised by the Council.He stressed that the CRFFN is not registering any other association in the maritime sector apart from the five associations it had earlier accredited.Jukwe also enjoined all freight forwarding practitioners to make their contributions to the amendment of the CRFFN Act which is billed to come up at the National Assembly in Abuja next week.He told our correspondent that one of the challenges that have crippled the Council in the past 10 years of its existence was the law creating the council which needed to be amended. Another challenge according to him is lack is funding for the council to implement its mandate.Jukwe said: "We are not registering any other association order than the five that have been registered before now. None of them has equally applied to the council for accreditation and we have not approved them".On the amendment of the CRFFN Amendment Bill, he noted that: "When a bill is before the National Assembly, it is subjected to public hearing, and the public hearing for the CRFFN Act is coming up on 22nd and 23rd of May 2017, all the stakeholders are free to go and air their views before the House of Representative handling the bill""Don’t forget that the bill is a private member bill and everybody is free to go and contribute to it, it is a proposal""Some of the challenges that have confronted the CRFFN in the past 10 years is the proposed amendment of the Act, the amendment is very important in order to make the council function properly. The second challenges the Council has had is funding" he said.Meanwhile, stakeholders have advised the CRFFN not to register any other freight forwarding associations.Former President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF); Dr. Eugene Nweke advised that the council should focus on the categorisation of the five existing associations."The CRFFN should be seen concentrating on the categorisation of the Freight Forwarding specialities. Having done this it will consider registering New Associations base on their areas of specialities or expertise, this is the focus" he said.On his part, spokesperson of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Dr. Kayode Farinto also called for categorisation of the existing g freight forwarding associations.He said that CRFFN should do categorization. All other associations should join either ANLCA or NAGAFF; depending on such association".