… Rejects move to POF collection
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) on Tuesday insisted on the establishment of a Governing Council to run the affairs of the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), saying that a single individual, the registrar, cannot assume the place of a Governing Council.
Spokesman of the Association, Dr. Kayode Farinto, told newsmen at a briefing that there must be a Governing Council of the CRFFN which can within its powers review the Act to incorporate any development for the betterment of the council and the operators in customs brokerage.
He said:”We notice that the Registrar is trying to change himself into an Executive Secretary to give him powers. But, we have written to the Attorney-General that the CRFFN Act has not been tested, so, it cannot be amended to enable the collection of Practitioners Operating Fee (POF).”
He declared that outside of such discretion of a Governing Council, “the CRFFN Act does not make provisions for the collection of the POF, which the Ministry of Transportation has endorsed to be collected through the terminal operators.”
Farinto said that his association remains totally against the collection of the POF because it is against the Ease of Doing Business Initiative to grant the nation’s ports competitiveness in the maritime trade within the sub-region.
It would be recalled that members of ANLCA, on Monday, staged a peaceful protest at the Tin-can Island Port to publicly register their position to the terminal operators that they stand against collection of the POF.
He said: “Yesterday, after the peaceful protest, we submitted our letter that we are against collection of POF and nobody will claim that they did not see it.”
The ANLCA spokesman said that they were still alarmed at how monies allocated to the CRFFN in 2016 and 2017 were so far spent.
Speaking on foreigners who operate as customs brokers, Farinto said they had written to the Senate on the need to indigenise the practice, in order to allow Nigerians get their jobs back, which hitherto are being done by foreign nationals who are only concerned with their interest.
He further disclosed that they have also written to the appropriate authorities to suspend such other levies including the port development levy, which he said has grown to “over 2 trillion Naira” being collected by the Nigerian Ports Authority even after over 10 years of port concession.”
Commenting on the state of affairs of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders Initiative, otherwise known as ANI, Farinto said the associations have right to disagree on issues just as his association is against collection of POF while NAGAFF supports it.
He, however, stated that ANLCA National Executive Council would make the association’s final decision known when it meets this week.