Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has stated that freight forwarders who do not follow the established processes as stated by law will not be allowed to operate in Nigeria.
He enjoined all freight forwarders in Nigeria to take advantage of the certification process put in place by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to become professionally fit and competent as well as achieve the International Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management. Amaechi is the supervisory minister of CRFFN.
Amaechi said the certification, which is internationally recognised by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA), will not only educate and enlighten freight forwarders, but also improve the country’s performance index.
Speaking at the 2019 sensitisation workshop on ‘Freight Forwarding as a Career’ yesterday in Lagos, which was organised by CRFFN and ADG International Resources, the minister said: “Professionalising freight forwarding will improve the ease of doing business ratings and reduce smuggling activities, which are dangerous and inimical to the country’s economy. Any educated and enlightened freight forwarder will always find the space to fit in.
“We are also hopeful that all these efforts will yield better competitiveness in the industry because it is the freight forwarding activities that determine the logistics performance index and therefore the country’s competitiveness.”
Amaechi insisted that “only those who obey the law will be allowed to operate, adding that getting certified would be the first step to implementing the CRFFN law, and those who have refused to function within the law will be compelled to do so.”
Earlier in his address, the Registrar and CEO of CRFFN, Sam Nwakohu, said the governing council of the CRFFN has determined that the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management would be the minimum standard of qualification required to be registered as a freight forwarder in Nigeria.
He said: “This will be the new benchmark for professionalism in 2021, and it is intended to be raised as prescribed by the Freight Forwarding Act to FIATA higher diploma in future… We are doing a lot of integrating, and if you are not registered with us, your licence will not be renewed by customs.”
Explaining that some institutions have been accredited to administer courses in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management, Nwakohu noted that it is a legacy project that holds the promise of driving Nigeria’s competitiveness through job creation, promotion of entrepreneurship, capacity building and enhancing ease of doing business.
He announced that the CRFFN also plans to embark on a massive technology upgrade that includes having a tracking system in clearing and forwarding where trucks can be tracked in real time just like Uber to enhance simulation between agencies at the ports and freight forwarders.
Responding, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Maritime Transport, Danjuma Goje, who was in company of his House of Representatives counterpart, Chairman, House Committee on Ports and Harbours, Hon. Garba Datti Muhammad, assured CRFFN of their cooperation in ensuring that the much desired change and upgrading is achieved.
Earlier, Goje said: “As you can see, the federal government represented by the minister and the National Assembly represented by me and Muhammad are all behind you. We want a situation where this profession is properly regulated. When it’s regulated, the service delivery will be of higher quality and it would add great value to the determination of this administration to turn around the economy of this country.”