Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, TinCan Island chapter, has said that 75 per cent of freight forwarders in the country’s maritime industry are yet to update their registration.
The Chairman, Mr. Ojo Akintoye, in a chat with Financial Street in Lagos, charged the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria to call for registration first before talking about the collection of Practitioners Operating Fee.
He, nevertheless, accused the council of using the collection of POF to extort practitioners, adding that if the situation persisted, they might have no choice than to withdraw their services.
“Why ask people to pay POF when you are aware that they have not registered, and that about 75 per cent of them have not updated their registration with CRFFN? Why can’t you call for that registration first?
“For your information, I have my own consignment here today and they are demanding N5,000 instead of N1,000 or N2,000, as the case may be, because my company has not finished with CRFFN registration update. Somebody is using that avenue to extort our members, and we say no to it. Otherwise, we either withdraw our services or go on strike,” he said.
Akintoye advised the TinCan Island Container Terminal to emulate other terminals in the area of sensitising their people before going into full collection of the fee.
“If the court has given a judgement on it for collection or the stakeholders agreed that CRFFN should go ahead with the collection. We don’t have problem with that, but now, the problem we are having is that TICT is using the avenue of CRFFN to extort our people,” he added.
While insisting that the POF was meant for the freight forwarders, as it was their money, the ANLCA chairman maintained that they were supposed to be the ones that own the money, but the process was hijacked by the CRFFN.
“CRFFN is an Act established by government and I don’t see why CRFFN should be the one to collect our own money for us. But let us even assume that it is part of the regulatory functions of the CRFFN, regulating us does not mean they should force us to pay the money that belongs to us,” he said.
Responding, the Head, Documentation Department, TICT, Greg Sikpi, said that TICT had noted their grievances and would find a way of resolving them officially.
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