As CRRFN Reconciliation Committee Submits Report to Transportation Minister
BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have inaugurated a 39-member taskforce to address the operational challenges confronting freight agents at nation’s seaports and terminals.
ANLCA also revealed that the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Reconciliation Committee on ANLCA Crisis has submitted its report to the Transportation Minister, Engr. Jaji Sambo.
The taskforce team which was inaugurated in Lagos yesterday has 5-9 members assigned to the various ports and terminals. The interim National President of ANLCA, Mr. Pius Ujubuonu, who conducted the inauguration exercise, described the newly inaugurated taskforce as an extension of the association’s leadership at the ports; noting that it was designed to alleviate the operational challenges in freight forwarding.
His words: “There are several operational challenges at the ports and the face-off amongst ourselves in ANLCA has worked against our being able to address these challenges coming from security agencies, regulatory bodies, other operators and service providers at the ports.
“As long as operations aren’t smooth at the ports, freight agents will struggle to make ends meet from port business. The main reason for forming associations is to have a collective security and be able to collectively approach certain things that work against our operations.
“As interim executives, we are just seven members and there’s no way we would be able to go round the ports and terminals. The best approach is by delegation of powers. We had to bring people onboard so they could find out the core problems at ports and terminals.
“They’ll act as our intelligence, our help and our taskforce. Where they can’t address things at their various posts, they will revert to us and we will approach the relevant authorities to ensure the right thing is done in line with world best practices.”
Speaking further on the creation of the taskforce, Ujubuonu said:
“We have an average of 5-9 members assigned to some ports and terminals, taking into cognizance the size of the port and volume of activities there. We believe they will be more of an assistance to the operators, regulators and freight agents, than a disturbance.”
The ANLCA interim leader called on stakeholders to cooperate and collaborate with the taskforce, noting that courtesy visits will be undertaken to introduce the teams to the industry key stakeholders.
Although there are two women in the taskforce, Ujubonu assured that plan is afoot to have more women involved in the day to day affairs of the association.
“I have special areas like Customs/ Agents relations for women. When someone is having an issue in valuation or Customs Strike Force or FOU, the results a woman will come back with will be much better than a man. This is because women are naturally problem solvers and peacemakers.
“This was what informed my decision to ask that women be left out of the taskforce. I also want to create Social Welfare that will be operated by women because you’re transparent and accountable than men.”
Giving an update on the intervention of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) on the ongoing ANLCA crisis, he said that the CRFFN Committee had submitted its interim report to the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo.
“The CRFFN Committee has submitted an interim report on the ANLCA conflict to the Transport Minister and I’m privy to the content of that report. However, I’ll not preempt an exercise set-up by a Minister because it shows that the Federal Government has waded in through the leadership of CRFFN which is a regulatory body of freight forwarders.”
“I’m sure they will come out with a fair recommendation. Some of the interested parties in this conflict are on the CRFFN board, but I believe they would have peace in mind in ensuring that the best decision or recommendation is gotten.”