Transport Ministry wades into CRFFN crisis, meets freights forwarders tomorrow

The Federal Ministry of Transport has finally waded into the crisis rocking the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) over its planned collection of the controversial professional operating as it has invited the leaders of the various freight forwarding associations to a meeting in Abuja tomorrow (Wednesday) to find solution to the crisis.

The association leaders were invited to the meeting through a letter titled ‘Invitation for stakeholders meeting on issues affecting smooth operation of freight forwarding in Nigeria’, dated 1st June 2015 with reference number T. 4604/S.2/T2 and signed by the Deputy Director (ICD), Patrick Ekawu on behalf of the Minister.

The letter, a copy of which was sighted by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, reads: “Following the series of complaints from the various associations of Freight Forwarders and the report from the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to the Ministry, and having carefully looked at the report and the complaints, a decision was reached to convene an all stakeholders meeting to holistically look at the complaints with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issues at stake.

“Consequently, you are invited to come along with your Chairman, Board of Trustees and Secretary to attend the aforementioned meeting scheduled to hold on Wednesday, 10th June, 2015 at the Federal Ministry of Transport Conference Room.

“Please ensure prompt attendance and accept the warm regards of the Honourable Minister.”

The concerned associations are the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) and the National Association of Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC).

ANLCA had maintained opposition to the collection of the contentious professional operating fees, which was approved for collection by CRFFN by former Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, vide a letter dated 26th February 2015.

Umar had approved the collection N1.20 per kilogram of air freight, N1,000 per 20-foot container, N2,000 per 40-foot container, N500 per car/jeep, N1,000 per 1×20? truck, N2,000 per 1×40? truck, N3.50 per ton of general cargo, N1.00 per ton of dry bulk cargo while the rate on wet cargo was indicated as ‘negotiable’.

The collection was expected to net at least N2billion per annum which Umar directed should be shared between CRFFN and the associations in the ration of 60% and 35% respectively while the remaining 5% will be shared to registered freight forwarders.

While ANLCA had supported the collection initially, it is believed that it decided to back out because of disagreement over the sharing of the 35% accruing to the freight forwarding associations. ANLCA’s opposition has stalled collection of the contentious fee.

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