CRFFN threatens to arrest Amiwero over illegal training, practice
• To shut premises of unregistered freight forwarders
Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of CRFFN, Fwdr. (Sir) Mike Jukwe, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILYin an exclusive interview yesterday that Amiwero “has been given ten days to regularise his membership with CRFFN or desist from parading himself as a freight forwarder”.
Jukwe also said that the monthly training of freight forwarders conducted by Eyis Resources Limited, a company owned by Amiwero, is illegal.
He said that Eyis Resources is not one of the training institutions accredited by CRFFN to train freight forwarders.
“The law is no respecter of persons. The CRFFN Act is clear on who can practice as a freight forwarder and on who can carry out training of freight forwarders. We are commencing enforcement and we will not spare anyone who contradicts the law”, Jukwe told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in the Council’s Lagos office yesterday.
When asked to comment specifically if the Council will arrest Amiwero if he is found clearing goods at the nation’s seaports, Jukwe said: “Is he not a Nigerian? Is he above the laws of this country? We will not spare anyone that fails to comply with the CRFFN Act, no matter how highly placed.
Amiwero had contested for a seat on the CRFFN Governing Council in 2008, but lost, having come 10th with only 54 votes, while Sam Onyemelukwe, Ifezue Tony, Moshood Tijjani, Hakeem Olanrewaju and Tony Nwabunike secured the six available seats in the Council’s maiden election conducted by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in Abuja.
Amiwero had consequently failed to register as a member of the CRFFN and dragged the Council to court in 2009.
The matter is still pending before the court.
When contacted, Amiwero told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that CRFFN has no right to arrest him, noting that he was in court with the Council.
Meanwhile, CRFFN has given two weeks to freight forwarders who have not registered with it to do so or risk arrest, prosecution and possible shut down of their businesses.
Jukwe stated this yesterday when he flagged off enforcement of the regulations of the CRFFN in all its operational zones across the country.
Jukwe said that the enforcement officers, 30 in number, were recruited to enforce the provisions of Sections 4, 18, 24 and 28 of the CRFFN Act and the relevant regulations, “thereby ensuring that only registered freight forwarders are allowed to practice at seaports, cargo airports and land border stations on all aspects of freight forwarding, including but not limited to cargo clearance and delivery as well as associated formalities.”
According to Section 30 of the CRFFN Act of 2007, a freight forwarder is any person or company who arranges the carriage or movement of goods and associated formalities on behalf of an importer or exporter along the international boundaries of sea ports, cargo airports or land border stations.
Jukwe said that, of about 1,900 individuals registered by CRFFN as members; only 1,084 have been up to date in the payment of dues in line with the CRFFN Act and hence qualify to practice legitimately.
The Council also has 567 corporate members, five registered freight forwarding associations and 10 accredited training institutions.
Jukwe counseled freight forwarders against flouting the CRFFN Act, as he warned that “the era of impunity or anything goes among registered freight forwarders is over.”
Jukwe also said that CRFFN has overcome most of the challenges confronting it and is set to fully implement its mandate.