Freight forwarders decry difficult business terrain at Onne Port, others
CRFFN targets N5b yearly through POF
Stakeholders in freight forwarding have decried the difficulty of doing business in the southern part of the country especially in Onne Port of Rivers State.
The stakeholders comprising clearing agents from the South South and South East regions lamented the deplorable state of roads to Onne Port where they carry out their businesses, describing it as death traps.
Mr. Chidi Opara, who spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday during a meeting with Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) on the Practitioner’s Operating Fee (POF), said the stakeholders might be willing to pay the fees, if the numerous challenges facing their businesses such as bad road, excess interruptions and arbitrary charges at the port were addressed.
Meanwhile, CRFFN is targeting N5 billion revenue yearly through POF on imported cargos.
Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Samuel Nwakohu, disclosed this in an interview shortly after the meeting with the stakeholders.
Nwakohu said the N5 billion would be additional revenue into the nation’s economy, assuring that the fund would not be misappropriated.
He said: “We are projecting that in the first year, we should be able to realise N5 billion through the POF. It will add to the nation’s economy.
“It is only the human fear that the process may disturb. Come to think of it, what is there for them (freight forwarders) to pay N1,000 for 20ft container or N2,000 for 40ft container.
“It is a nominal fee and will enable us help them. It is a way of getting internally-generated revenue (IGR) for the nation and help us build their capacity through trainings.”
He pointed out that the freight forwarding system in the country had not adopted digitalisation, adding that the nation was backward in that aspect.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria is not faring well among the comity of nations being ranked 110 out of the 160 countries at the last count in 2018. This ranking says a lot about Nigeria and her freight forwarding industry.
“To assert our relevance, we must be seen to be addressing these issues, especially when we observe that small countries like Cote d’lvoire and Rwanda rank 50th and 57th respectively.”
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