CRFFN: Transport Minister goes on rescue mission
…Approves Interim Governing Council, transaction fee collection
In an adroit move to rescue the floundering body from drowning in its numerous woes, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has approved the constitution of an Interim Governing Council for the crisis-ridden Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
Usually authoritative sources at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Abuja informed SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that the seven-member Interim Governing Council, with members drawn from the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Federal Ministry of Transport, will be inaugurated any time from this week.
The representative of the Federal Ministry of Transport will serve as the Secretary of the Council, while the Chairman is expected to be named during the inauguration.
No freight forwarder is nominated into the interim body.
“They are an interested party. The work of the Interim Governing Council is to organise elections within the shortest possible time frame to pave the way for a new Governing Council, and, since the election is for them, we can’t have them on board as part of the team conducting the election,” sources informed SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
There are also strong indications that the Minister will also soon approve the collection of the controversial transaction fee by the CRFFN to enable it meet its financial obligations.
As a result of infighting between the members of its old Governing Council and some leading freight forwarding associations, the CRFFN ran into troubled waters last year, compounding its financial crisis. The CRFFN, which came into existence in 2007 by an Act of the National Assembly, has been living mainly on the goodwill of agencies under the Transport Ministry and on irregular appropriation by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Transport, had granted the CRFFN approval to commence the collection of transaction fees in a letter with reference number T. 0160/S.172/1, dated July 3, 2012.
According to the letter, government approved for collection transaction fees for airports, seaports and land border cargoes as follows: N1.50 per kilo for air cargoes; N1,000.00 per 20-foot container; N2,000.00 per 40-foot container; N500.00 per car/jeep; and N1,000.00 per truck or 20-foot equivalent.
Others are N2,000.00 per truck or 40-foot equivalent; N3.50 per ton for general cargo; and N1.00 per ton for dry bulk cargo. The Federal Government equally approved various registration fees for Nigerians and foreigners, ranging from N7, 500.00 to N50, 000.00, depending on the category of membership.
Similarly, annual subscriptions fees, ranging from N10, 000.00 to N60, 000.00, were approved, depending on the category of membership.
The approval was, however, withdrawn, following serious disagreements between the CRFFN and the leaders of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF).
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.