The Registrar of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Barr. Sam Nwakohu has warned freight forwarders not to shortchange the Federal Government, stating that anyone who does so is an economic saboteur.
Speaking at a one day sensitization programmes with the theme “Simplified Terminal Operator’s Verification of Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) payment, which took place on Monday, the Registrar said government has given the CRFFN an ultimatum to collect the POF from freight forwarders.
Also, the CRFFN, at the sensitization programme demonstrated six steps on how terminal operators can verify POF payment’s by freight forwarders before issuing out Debit Note for collection of their cargo at the ports.
Speaking during the workshop, the Registrar of CRFFN, who was represented by the Director, Regulation and Enforcement, CRFFN, Basil Oparah informed that the major aim of the workshop was to demonstrate the six steps on how terminal operators would verify POF payments by freight forwarders before issuing out Debit Note for collection of their cargo at the ports.
He went on to list the six steps as: 1. Log on to the pof.crffn.gov.ng. 2. Enter username and password to login. 3. Enter BOL number and search. 4. The system will return with either “not found”, “unpaid”, “paid” (Note refer “not found” or “unpaid” to CRFFN portal for payment) 5. If paid, click on checked and exit. 6. Note: for full integration between CRFFN and the terminal, TDO/DO officers will confirm payment with Bill of lading automatically.
The Registrar, however, warned that that anyone who shortchanged the federal government is an economic saboteur, adding that the federal government had given the Council the mandate to collect the fee from the freight forwarders so as to run the affairs of the Council.
Also speaking, a representative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Mahmood Aliyu Ari disclosed that the Commission has had a meeting with the five accredited freight forwarding associations where it interacted with them adding that part of the Commission’s mandate was to undertake regular inspection.
While noting that the Commission had recorded a very limited number of freight forwarders who registered with it under SCUML, Ari noted that “we would continue to sensitize them; we are supposed to monitor their activities. Going forward, we would be checking every document to see if they have pay POF. We are ready to synergies with CRFFN.”
Earlier in his goodwill message, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Western Ports, Adeleke Taiwo expressed satisfaction with CRFFN over its ability to organize the workshop noting that it would help to address a lot of issues around collection of POF and create more awareness.
He said that “It was indeed shocking for us to hear that freight forwarders have 15 representatives at the CRFFN Governing Board yet they regularly engage in squabbles with the Council. Port is a close community, we know ourselves, terminal operators, all the various government agencies know themselves and police is friend to those who are law abiding.”
While stating that the freight forwarders needed to be advised that they have to work in line with the law of federal government, he equally stressed that anybody that shortchanged the federal government is an economic sabotage.
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