Despite claims by a section of the freight forwarding community that the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) is not a government agency, the freight forwarders’ regulatory body is still being funded by the federal government.
In the 2014 budget proposal sighted by SHIPS& PORTS DAILY, CRFFN is getting a state allocation of N333.3 million. The CRFFN 2014 proposal, stated under code number 0229006001, is N96.8 million higher than the sum of N236.5 million allocated to it under the 2013 budget.
A breakdown of the proposed total allocation for CRFFN under the federal ministry of transport includes N264.5 million for total personnel cost and N49 million for total overhead bringing the total recurrent expenditure to N313.5 million while capital expenditure will gulp N19.8 million. The capital expenditure project includes N3.8 million for purchase of security equipment for enforcement officers and N16 million for staff training and human capital development.
Meanwhile, the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN) has called on the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to prevail on the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, to lift the ban on transaction fees collection by the CRFFN.
In an exclusive chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, President of AREFFN, Dr. Frank Ukor, said that the major problem ailing CRFFN is paucity of funds which, according to him, can be solved if the freight forwarders’ regulatory body is allowed to collect transaction fees.
He said that CRFFN’s financial strength can also be enhanced with grants from the transport ministry.
“All these parastatals under the ministry should arrange funds for CRFFN. Let them give it funds to take off and CRFFN will bounce back to life,” he stated.
The AREFFN boss also noted that the absence of a governing council is taking a huge toll on CRFFN even as he reiterated the urgent need for election to be conducted for a new board.
Ukor suggested that a referendum be organized before the conduct of the election to avoid repetition of past mistakes with the membership of the governing council.
He said: “That referendum is to enable them amend the constitution so that it will be easy for people to be elected into the Board. For instance, five associations have been accredited into the Council. Work out certain percentage of this number and make sure that every member of the registered associations is in the Council. There are other associations that are not registered but are very relevant in the industry. It could be arranged to have one or two of them in the Council. When everybody is brought into the board, the board will be balanced.”
Ukor expressed confidence in the Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s ability to carry out the responsibility of stabilizing the CRFFN.