The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has accredited and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Lagos (UNILAG) to begin training and certification of Nigerian freight forwarders in line with the provisions of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA)
The signing ceremony took place on Monday at the CRFFN office in Marina, Lagos.
Registrar of the CRFFN, Barr Samuel Nwakohu assured that the Council is also accrediting other higher institutions of learning across Nigeria, including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to commence training of freight forwarders.
He announced that UNILAG would now start issuing Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management, and Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management.
Nwakohu assured that these certificate would afford Nigerian Freight Forwarders the capacity to practice freight forwarding anywhere in the world.
He said the aim of the Council is to ensure that freight forwarding practitioners are educated and to ensure that in the nearest future no uncertified person would be in the profession.
Nwakohu also said the MoU and presentation of accreditation certificate was a seal of a partnership with UNILAG which started in 2017 with the Institute of Maritime Studies which hosts CRFFN training centre.
"In recognition of the provisions of the Act that set us up, you would find out that training is right at the top, it is a core mandate, and we are doing everything humanly possible to make sure that we shift the paradigm from a situation where freight forwarders are seen as not knowing what they are doing, to a situation where they are now seen as professionals"
"They call them 'clearing and forwarding', that is the customary name, but we call them freight forwarders, and we are telling the world today that we have a mandate to make sure that these people act as professionals, and how would they do that? It is by learning"
"In the nearest future, each and every freight forwarder would be qualified and they would be accredited to practice freight forwarding, this is our main objective"
"It is not just happening in UNILAG, we are going to so it across the country, we are doing it for individuals and corporate bodies. The executives themselves would also have an opportunity to learn" Nwakohu said
Also speaking at the event, Director of Training and Research of CRFFN, Barr Alban Igwe said that UNILAG also has a seat on the governing Council of CRFFN.
He said the CRFFN as a regulatory agency is carrying out its mandate through the instrumentality of education service providers.He revealed that across the country, a number of training institutions have also been accredited.
Igwe said that CRFFN has been accredited by the world body; FIATA which regulates and builds capacity of freight forwarding and supply chain management in years 2012, 2013 in Los Angeles and Singapore respectively.
He said "Down here, we have been accrediting institutions that we intend to use in building capacity in freight forwarding and supply chain and UNILAG happens to be one of them"
On his part, Deputy Director of Institute of Maritime Studies at UNILAG who represented the Vice Chancellor , Dr Olusegun Adeaga assured the CRFFN Registrar carryout the training of Nigerian freight forwarders with truth and sincerity.
He also assured the university would do this by abiding by the rules and regulations as regards manpower development and freight forwarding regulation in Nigeria.
"I want to first and foremost appreciate your decision to make the University of Lagos a Governing Council member of CRFFN, and for your goodwill in certifying and accrediting us to run your programme " he said.