‘FG should conclude CRFFN Board Election – CREFFPON
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
The Congregation of Registered Freight Forwarding Practitioners Of Nigeria, CREFFPON, has appealed to the Federal Ministry of Transportation to take urgent steps to conclude the Council of Registered Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, governing council election, stalemated last year due to perceived electoral guidelines and actions deemed at variance with the CRFFN Act.
CREFFPON in its end of year message to freight forwarders, agencies of government and stakeholders in the maritime industry signed by Comrade Edwin Chukwudire Obi expressed worry about the protracted divisions amongst freight forwarders. Speaking on the CRFFN governing council election said, “CREFFPON is of the view that in 2022, the ministry will take a firm stand aimed to conclude the electioneering process. The freight forwarders cannot continually afford to stay divided by mere trivial issues. Time to think more of our profession other than our individual interests is now.”
The statement reads: “The Congregation of Registered Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria hereby express and extend its new year greetings to all maritime industry stakeholders and especially the freight forwarding logistics providers.
“We pray that, the new year 2022 brings industry harmony, opportunities and advancement, positive industry activities and exceptional leadership discharge amongst critical organs in the industry.The year 2021 like other years has been a mixture of eventful year to many practitioners and no events to many as well.
“So many issues are still begging for urgent attention in the industry in the out gone year and the new year. However, CREFFPON is particularly concerned with the following industry issues:
- NIMASA – The doggedness of the agency to combat piracy activities at our territorial waters recorded reduction in sea crime. The CREFFPON is of the opinion that, the Blue Economy project should be communicated further to stakeholders, especially, in the area of research and human capacity development, as enshrined in the AIM-Strategy content development.
- The NPA Commitment at Tackling the Apapa Traffic via e- truck call up system – Though commendable, the effort still requires fine tuning. Traffic has been diverted to neighbourhood and surrounding streets. The NPA should be concerned about its port rating globally, especially in relation to port friendliness, costs and efficiency.
- The Noticeable Delays That Trailed The Change Of Guard In The Leadership Of The Nigeria Shippers Council – NSC – Good enough the new helmsman has recently announced his new agenda of actions for the Industry, the CREFFPON wish to state clearly that, the essence of an economic regulator in the industry is gradually losing steam, and we hope that the new agenda will revamp the Industry by instituting an industry pricing system that promotes competiveness and meets the International best practices.
- The Shipping Companies, Terminal Operators, Customs and others are all declaring excess revenue cum profits, amidst low cargo throughputs. While congratulating them, it equally speaks volumes that something is wrong somewhere in their mode of operations.
- New services, the Barges operations – while commending them for the interventionist services undertaken to remedy port congestion, again we have to caution on the need for a streamlined tariff system and efficiency concerns.
- The CRFFN Governing Council Election – The CREFFPON is of the view that, in the year 2022, that the ministry will take a firm stand aimed to conclude the electioneering process. The freight forwarders cannot continually afford to stay divided by mere trivial issues. Time to think more of our Profession other than our individual interests is now.
CREEPON further noted that the haulage sector of the freight forwarding profession requires intervention.
“The present trucking system needs better reorganization, and the CREFFPON shall be at the forefront to drive this objective in the year. The importance of a transport logistics services can not be overstated, as it touches the lives of Nigerians significantly.”
The group said the cost of doing business in the Nigeria ports is still very expensive and does not add up in terms of a healthy economy.
“Today, ports within the region has positioned themselves to transhipment hub and ready for prompt participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area regime. Already, reports of the diversion of the Nigerian bound imports to Lome, Cotonu, Cameroun, Ghana, etc. Their recent cargo throughputs increases is a confirmation to this development.”
Commenting on the Finance Ministry /Central Bank of Nigeria trade fiscal policies, CREEPON said, “The trade policy of uploading more than 41 import items and denying its importers access to Forex, and the directive for importers to source for forex exchange from the parallel markets has not impacted the nation and the trading public positively.
“Rather, the policy promotes all manners of trade irregularities and non compliance on the part of the trading public, especially in its quest to break even in trade transactions, in relation to profit realization.
“Worst still, the policy and the poor administration of the forex regime, persistence forex fluctuations, is a contributory factor in the ailing economic hardship in the country, as the nation is still import dependent.
“CREFFPON hereby call on the CBN and the supervisory ministry to reevaluate the impact of this fiscal policy with a view to reviewing it.”
Also the group tasked the Federal Ministry of Transport to reinforce the National Trade Facilitation Agreement, NTFA, and expedite actions on the delay of the project, noting “The importance of evolving a National Single Window portal in our port value adding supply chain cannot be over emphasized.”
Speaking on other operational challenges in the industry, the group notes:
“In specific terms, the portal will complement the cargo clearance process within the Customs domain. As the present import clearance procedures and processes is nothing but a bundle of confusion and extortion.
“As a nation, there are no doubt the negative impacts of the ailing economic hardship in the land is on the high side. In this regards, our Professional actions and inactions as contributor to the wide spread hardship should be put under serious checks and balances.
“Our dear country is potentially great, but our collective leadership failure at harnessing both human and natural resources for the common good has been a bane over the years. May we emphasize here again the need for all of us to cultivate a new spirit and a resolve to think differently.
“To this end, CREFFPON is poised to mobilize the coming together of industry practitioners to cross fertilize ideas to make our industry thrive better in the year 2022.”