13 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — THE National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, has queried the appointment of a firm, SW Global as a collecting agent for Practitioners Operations Fees, POF.
The group also said that the intention of the Council to regulate and control Freight Forwarding practitioners and position it for professionalism may be under serious threat due to mismanagement and misapplication of the CRFFN Act.
NAGAFF in a petition to the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi noted that at the expiration of the first Council, all its powers revert to you as the Honourable Minister of Transportation with the mandate under Section 5 of the CRFFN Act.
“The authority of the Minister to give directions and character to the Council with or without the Board is clearly defined because nature abhors vacuum and governance.
“Our major concern is the seeming inability of the Honorable Minister to give direction and character in the administration of the CRFFN.
“A clear example is the Federal Government’s recent approval for the collection of the Practitioners Operating Fees POF, and your directive that its collection should start by August 1, 2017.
“ As at the time we are putting pen to paper to write this letter Sir, the collection has not started effectively.
“We find this unacceptable and regrettable. We are aware that the only difference between the government and other bodies is the power of coercion the Government has to enforce its laws and regulations which are vested only in it (Government) by all laws.
“However, it sounds strange that this is not being put to use to enforce this directive to commence the collection of POF, more so as it has to do with Government revenue, which we know the government does not joke with.
“It is on record that the CRFFN by the powers conferred on it registered five Associations with their members. And it is on record that four out of these Associations are in full support of the collection of POF with only one against.
“In every democracy, the majority always carry the day. We are not unaware that the one dissenting Association is in court deliberately to put a clog in the wheel of the collection, but we are not aware of any court pronouncement and or orders stopping the collection.
“And it is a settled matter that the court is not a place where you can hold down government policies aimed at improving the lots of the people.
“To the best of our knowledge, the collection of POF, apart from aiming at developing our ports, will also be used to develop the practice of Freight Forwarding in the country. Suffice it to say that the critical role of the Freight Forwarder as an integral part of shipping which recognizes the freight forwarding services as a vital link in global supply chain cannot be underestimated and or overemphasized