Ernest Elochukwu, Former President, ANLCA
Stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy have continued to drum support for the revival of the moribund Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
The stakeholders, who spoke in a forum in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, said the resuscitation of the council was important so that the objectives for setting it up would be realised.
For almost two years, activities of the council have been paralysed by the paucity of funds and inability of the defunct Governing Council to work together for the actualisation of its set goals and objectives.
Established by the CRFFN Act 2007, the council seeks to professionalise the theory and practice of freight forwarding in the country. It was in a bid to reverse the fortunes of the council that the practising freight forwarders in the dissolved Governing Board of the council have been meeting in Lagos and elsewhere.
Immediate past National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Ernest Elochukwu, in remarks at the forum sought support for the revival of CRFFN. Elochukwu said the series of meetings in recent times were meant to arrest the downward trend of events in CRFFN.
He argued that the inability of freight forwarders to rally round support for the council was why it has not been able to achieve its set goals and objectives since it was established in 2007.
His words: “With adequate support from all stakeholders in all zones of the federation to CRFFN, challenges confronting the freight forwarding profession will easily be surmounted. The council for the regulation of freight forwarding in Nigeria is not an association. Rather, it is a body owned by all registered freight forwarders in Nigeria aimed at regulating and monitoring the activities of freight forwarders.
“The council for the regulation of freight forwarding in Nigeria has a mandate as provided by section 4 of Act 16 2007 to determine persons or classes of persons who constitute freight forwarders for the purpose of practising the profession. Also, it determines the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to be registered as freight forwarders and raising the standards from time to time in accordance with international industry practice”.
Elochukwu, who is also the Managing Director and CEO of Nestello Gateways Group, emphasised that regulating and controlling the practice of freight forwarding is the sole responsibility of CRFFN.
Chairman, Board of Trustees, ANLCA, Chief Henry Njoku, also welcomed the series of meetings aimed at reviving CRFFN.
“Education is a continuous learning process and knowledge is fundamental in the process and sustainability of freight forwarding activities in Nigeria. All over the world, the freight forwarding profession is a noble and respected practice with collective interest and purpose”, he said.
He enjoined all stakeholders to supports CRFFN with a view to reviving the freight forwarding profession for future generation. He argued that the low level of freight forwarding activities in the Eastern part of the country could be surmounted if the hands of all stakeholders are on the deck on the agenda to move CRFFN forward.
While promising to sponsor any summit aimed at reviving the council, he suggested that such meetings should not only be regular but also all encompassing to ensure that everyone is carried along.
The Registrar of CRFFN, Sir Mike Jukwe, thanked the facilitator of the summit and urged all registered freight forwarders to close ranks and rally support for the co-existence and smooth operations of the freight forwarding activities in the Eastern zone of Nigeria. He opined that CRFFN is statutorily mandated to regulate and monitor the activities of freight forwarding in Nigeria.
He called on all registered forwarders to adhere to the rules and regulations of the profession with a view to create synergy with government and investors. He hailed the peaceful co-existence existing among freight forwarders in the Eastern zone and assured stakeholders that CRFFN would always carry out its functions in the interest of freight forwarders and the nation at large.