At Last, Federal Executive Council Approves Collection Of POF By CRFFN      

About four years after the Federal Government officially gazetted its collection, the Federal Executive Council last week approved the collection of the controversial Practitioners’ Operating Fee (POF), by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).

Shipping Position Daily confirmed last weekend that the approval was granted at the prolonged FEC meeting last Wednesday, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Although, the FEC approval was not made public because the Minister of Transportation; Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who was to announce it to the media skipped it, sources confirmed to our correspondent that the approval was real.

Collection of Practitioners Operating Fee was gazetted by the Federal Government in March 2015, but collection could not start owing to disagreement about how its proceeds would be shared.

The POF are collectable on all cargoes entering into and exiting the country through land, air and sea.

In the scale of payable fees, one kilogramme of airfreight cargo will attract a fee of N2.00.

However, for sea freight cargo, a 20ft container will attract N1,000, 40ft will attract N2,000. Similarly, car and SUVs will pay N500, while 20ft trucks and 40ft truck will attract a fee of N1,000 and N2,000 respectively.

Similarly, general cargo will attract a fee of N3.50 per ton, while dry bulk cargo will attract a fee of N1.00 per ton, even as it was stated that fees in respect of wet cargoes are negotiable.

In the 2015 gazette, there was provision for sharing by all the parties, including the CRFFN, the five registered freight forwarders and registered freight forwarding companies.

The CRFFN is to collect 60 per cent of the revenue, the five registered associations will share 35 per cent, while the registered companies that handled the cargo will share the remaining 5 per cent, calculated by the volume or cargo they account for.

The gazette specifically states that “CRFFN collects 60% Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the Associations will collect 35% as provided by the CRFFN Act (Accreditation of Associations of Freight Forwarders) Regulation,2010. The Registered Freight Forwarder/Licensed Customs Agent (RFF/LCA) is entitled to 5% of the Practitioners’ Operating Fee which will be collected by the CRFFN and remitted to the concerned RFF/LCA”.

A member of the Governing Council and Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); Dr Kayode Farinto confirmed the FEC approval when contacted by our correspondent on Saturday.