After months of despair among freight forwarder who are anxious about the seeming inactivity on the part of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders, the Council’s chairman, Hon Tony Nwabunike has disclosed that registration of freight forwarders will soon start.
Acknowledging that the Council had delayed in its activities, Nwabunike told Shipping Position Weekly that once the Council had four urgent issues to attend to. These, according to him are: appointment of registrar, opening of zonal offices and mass registration of members and elections into the remaining seats in the Council. .
He attributed the decision to inputs that came from stakeholders who attended the retreat which the Council hosted in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state recently. “At the retreat, we took a decision that first of all, we are going to have a registrar immediately and that we are going to establish three offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano; having Abuja as the liaison office”, he said.
“We are going to embark on a nation – wide registration exercise of all our members and immediately after the registration, we are now going to conduct elections into the remaining 15 seats from the three areas, that is, eastern port, western port, the air port and the border post”, he also stressed.
On the accusation of non-performance which some licensed customs agents have levelled against the Council, the chairman explained that it has spent time wooing and carrying leaders of the three major licensed customs agents group along in its mandate and that as much as it would want to be seen to be working by appearing on the pages of newspapers, it was better to put structures in place.
He also appealed for understanding on the part of those who are complaining. According to him, the Council is a very young body and it requires understanding on the part of all stakeholders.
“I agree that it has not affected the people on ground because we have not registered them, by the time we start the registration, sensitization and seminars, they will now know”, he explained.
(Please go to pages 6 and 7 for full interview)