The National President, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders, Nigera (AREFFN), Dr. Frank Ukor, has berated the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Shippers’ Council for allegedly acknowledging only the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) as freight forwarding associations worthy to meet with over port related matters.
Ukor, in an exclusive chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, accused the two port government agencies, and another which he was reluctant to mention name, for holding stakeholders meetings of which only NAGAFF and ANLCA, out of the five accredited freight forwarding associations of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), were invited to.
He also accused ANLCA and NAGAFF for allegedly deceiving the agencies into believing that they are the only recognized freight forwarding associations.
“This propaganda has been bought over by Shippers’ Council. NPA has equally bought their campaign because we used to get letters about their meetings but they have stopped sending us letters or informing us about their meetings. when they get information about meetings they call only ANLCA and NAGAFF. Instead of sending the information to CRFFN to diseminate they tell only ANLCA and NAGAFF, it is very wrong” Ukor stated.
He also said that the alleged discrimination does not only affect the associations but also their members.
Ukor said: “All the associations, we are all clearing agents. Clearing agency is what is renamed into freight forwarding and this freight forwarders includes transporters and also clearing agents that is for those that say they are now customs brokers – customs brokers is the baptismal name but before it was clearing agent. All of us are clearing agents. So, it is not proper that out of all the associations registered first by the Corporate Affairs Commission and then by the Council empowered to accredit the associations. it is very wrong to say that members of a particular association should not come and clear goods here or only members of some associations should operate here…it is not proper at all! Because what is good for the geese is also good for the gander. All of us are in the same business and we all go to look for jobs from the same market. It is the same duty we pay! We are all clearing agents so this discrimination should stop especially when this discrimination is coming from people who are highly placed in the port system.”