The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has finally endorsed plans by the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to collect practising fees from freight forwarders at the airports, seaports and land borders.
National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, who disclosed this in Lagos on Monday, said it was in his association’s best interest to support the collection.
He disclosed that the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, had during a recent meeting with CRFFN officials and leaders of select freight forwarding associations, approved the funding of the associations from the transaction fees.
It will be foolhardy, according to Shittu, for AMLCA not to agree with collection of the CRFFN transaction fees at this stage especially as its members would be the ones to pay the fees.
He said: “You can only carry out transactions in the ports when you are licensed. Customs license us, shipping companies license us, terminal operators, NPA license us. Any corporate body purportedly in the freight forwarding industry that does not have either one or two of these licenses cannot be deemed to be an operator. So based on this, we work, gather money and give to CRFFN to share for those who have nothing at stake. It is the existence of our companies that will generate that money that is going out.”
He however said that the method of distributing the funds among associations registered by the CRFFN should be based on the level of payment made by their members.
“It is a welcome decision of the honorable minister that associations must be funded from the transaction fees collection. The distributive method of the funding should be based pro rata on the level of payment by operators through the associations they belong. In other to protect the interest of ANLCA, the pro rata funding should form the foundation of our collaboration with CRFFN,” Shittu stated.
CRFFN had in 2012 obtained approval of the Ministry of Transport to collect annual registration and subscription fees from all freight forwarders practicing in the country but this resulted in a fallout between the Council and its leading freight forwarding associations and consequently leading to its suspension.
CRFFN at its 18th Extra-Ordinary meeting held on August 27, 2012 decided that subventions would be paid out of the transaction fees to the accredited freight forwarding associations. This did not go down well with the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) – the two leading freight forwarding associations – which demanded for a defined percentage of the yet-to-be collected transaction fees.
National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, had expressed dissatisfaction with the decision by the Council stressing that his association deserved more than just a subvention and would not accept the CRFFN offer.
To emphasize the position of his association, Shittu had resigned his membership of the then Governing Council of CRFFN saying that he “cannot prosecute this fight and remain in the Council.”
The ANLCA boss did prosecute the fight as the association subsequently took legal action against CRFFN.