The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) said it will soon create an electronic platform that will enable members of the public especially importers identify genuine and duly registered freight forwarders.
Speaking while addressing members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) when he visited its secretariat on Tuesday, Registrar of the Council, Sir Mike Jukwe said after the creation of the platform, anyone who engages the service of an unregistered freight forwarder, together with the unregistered freight forwarder, would be liable to prosecution.
“Like NAFDAC, when you buy a drug and you want to confirm the authenticity of that drug, all you just need is to scratch, send a message and you will receive a message immediately with the server telling you whether the drug is genuine or not. That is what is going to happen with freight forwarding very soon. When you are going to engage the services of a freight forwarder, all you need do is to send a message and you receive a confirmation whether the freight forwarder is registered or not.
“The law says it is an offence to engage the services of a freight forwarder that is not registered by CRFFN. As much as the illegal freight forwarder is guilty, the one who engages his services is also guilty. So we are coming up with this system for the members of the public. That is one of the standards we are setting in line with international best practice,” he said.
Jukwe said CRFFN was also working to ensure that unregistered practitioners are not allowed to operate. According to him, CRFFN enforcement officers have been deployed to create awareness on requisite qualifications for practitioners.
“Like every other profession, it is no longer going to be as it used to be where a freight forwarder charges different tariff thereby lowering the standards and sometimes criminality comes in.
“We will be like other profession where we will have standard tariff and when we are done with that we will also come in with standard billing template so that your invoices will be the same. It will carry your logo and CRFFN logo and the information will be there for you to fill. This will help to eliminate manipulation of figures or words,” he added.
Jukwe said arrangement for the collection of practitioners operating fee has been put in place with 60 percent of the collection going to CRFFN; 35% to the five accredited association and 5 percent to the agents.
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