The Shippers Association of Lagos (SAL) has warned the Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) not to use its members’ cargoes as defence for the payment of the controversial Practitioner Operating fee (POF).
Recall that the Registrar of the Council; Mr Sam Nwakohu in an exclusive chat with Shipping Position Daily last week, had said payment of POF was a condition precedent to cargo exit at the ports.
Nwakohu had informed our correspondent that collection of POF is an extant rule and a condition precedent to exit of cargoes in the ports.
However, in a chat with our correspondent, the President Shippers’ Association of Lagos (SAL) Rev. Jonathan Nicole warned the Council that shippers’ cargoes should not be use as defence for the collection of POF.
Nicole who condemned the collection of POF on every consignment, also warned that the council will be laying a bad precedent if the POF is not nipped in the bud, he stressed that Shippers were not part of the plan and as such their cargoes cannot be used as a bait to collect the POF, while asking the council to go sort itself out with freight forwarders.
According to him, “If you call it Practitioner Operating Fee (POF) every organization pays practitioner fee, CRFFN POF is different, maybe the nomenclature they used is wrong, COREN has practitioner fee, NMA has practitioner fee”.
“So why should CRFFN own be different, every year people pay their practitioner fee, without you renewing your license you cannot operate that’s POF, so you cannot say you are collecting practitioner fee per consignment, because they are laying a bad precedent and you will just find out tomorrow that NMA will say practitioner fee is per person that visits your hospital, because that’s exactly what it is.
“And again to make it more complicated, you are saying if you don’t pay N1000 or N2000 they will not allow you take delivery of your consignment, we are not part of the arrangement and so they cannot use our cargo as defence, we are not benefiting from it, we are not taking a dime from anybody and we don’t want to be part of that arrangement, because at the end of the day they may say maybe shippers are getting something, we are not, and they should leave our cargo alone, let them go and sort out their issues themselves”, he stated.
According to him, “if those that are supposed to pay say they are not paying, it means CRFFN has not done a good homework and it gives them room now to go and sit and see how they will re-coin it and re-introduce it, and it’s not even supposed to be per consignment, it supposed to be per year”.