Government to bar unregistered freight forwarders, says Amaechi, CRFFN
Freight forwarders who do not follow the established processes as stated by law will not be allowed to operate in Nigeria, according to the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and the regulatory body.
He, therefore, enjoined them to take advantage of the certification process put in place by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to become professionally fit and competent.
Amaechi also urged them to achieve the International Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management. He is the supervisory minister of CRFFN.
Amaechi said the certification which is internationally recognized by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA), will not only educate and enlighten freight forwarders but also improve the country’s performance index.
Speaking at the 2019 Sensitisation Workshop on Freight Forwarding as a Career on Tuesday in Lagos, organized by CRFFN and ADG International Resources; the minister said: “Professionalising freight forwarding will no doubt improve the ease of doing business ratings and reduce smuggling activities which is dangerous and inimical to the country’s economy. Any educated and enlightened Freight Forwarder will always find the space to fit in.
“We are also hopeful that all these efforts will yield better competitiveness in the industry because it is the Freight Forwarding activities that determine the logistics performance index and therefore the country’s competitiveness.
“Only those who obey the law will be allowed to operate adding that getting certified would be the first step to implementing the CRFFN law and those who have refused to function within the law will be compelled to do so.”
Earlier in his address, The Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, CRFFN, Sam Nwakohu, said its governing council has determined that the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management would be the minimum standard of qualification required to be registered as a freight forwarder in Nigeria.
He said: “This is the new benchmark for professionalism come 2021 and it is intended to be raised as prescribed by the freight forwarding Act to FIATA higher diploma in future… We are doing a lot of integrating and if you are not registered with us, your licence will not be renewed by customs.”
Therefore, freight forwarders licence expires this December, plans are underway by CRFFN to rally the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to deny licence renewal to those who have not registered with the Council.
Nwakohu said the council also plans to partner with truck manufacturers to create e-hailing transportation to phase out rickety trucks from the ports. CRFFN plans to embark on a massive technology upgrading that includes having a tracking system in clearing and forwarding where trucks can be tracked in real time just like Uber to enhance simulation between agencies at the ports and freight forwarders.
Noting that the council’s job is regulation of the conduct of freight forwarding, which also extends to road haulage, Nwakohu disclosed that it will cost about N100 million to design and birth the e-hailing app.
He said: “Containers fall off from trailers, kill people and damage goods, and looking at the economy, even with its buoyancy, most people cannot afford new trucks. But as a way out, we concluded to contact manufacturers and distributors to place new trucks in top conditions on the platform.
“If you want to move your container from point A to B, you call on the truck in form of an e-hailing transportation app.”
Chairman, Senate Committee on Maritime Transport, Sen. Danjuma Goje, who was in company of the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbours, Hon. Garba Datti Muhammad, assured CRFFN of their cooperation in ensuring that the much desired change and upgrading is achieved.