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Amaechi
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi

Politics Of Convenience Frustrating Takeoff Of CRFFN—Elochukwu, Former ANLCA Boss

More facts have emerged on why the effective takeoff of the functions of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has remained in coma since the passage of the Act establishing it in 2012. The agency is designed to regulate the activities of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria with members forming part of the board.

Leading stakeholder in the nation’s maritime industry, and former National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Ernest Elochukwu has explained that selfish interest rooted in freight forwarders’ associations politics was the cause of the failure to work.

In an interview, he said politics of convenience whereby people are situating themselves to gain more than others is killing the spirit of the council.

He argued that “there are some people who took positional interest and make sure that first and foremost, the CRFFN would not operate the way it was envisaged by the Act. They put up a whole lot of issues to confuse the system and at the end of the day truncated the idea of having a council since 2012. Now, they are the same people who are now hoping that the CRFFN can go on even without a governing Council and that everything is okay.

He disclosed that why the Minister of transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has not been able to resolve the crisis cannot be unconnected with intrigues designed by some persons to reap more than others.

He said “CRFFN was supposed to be private sector initiative to regulate the practice of freight forwarding alongside what is obtained in the whole world because sometime we even get confused about certain usages. Many people have tried to tell the Nigerian public including civil servants in the Ministry of Transport that there is something different called freight forwarding which is different from cargo clearing but I can tell you that this is a matter of semantics.

He said “CRFFN was supposed to be private sector initiative to regulate the practice of freight forwarding alongside what is obtained in the whole world because sometime we even get confused about certain usages. Many people have tried to tell the Nigerian public including civil servants in the Ministry of Transport that there is something different called freight forwarding which is different from cargo clearing but I can tell you that this is a matter of semantics.

“There nobody that is doing any other thing that is distinctly freight forwarding in Nigeria today besides clearing of cargo. Freight forwarding came up as a result of international name and it came out as a result of the fact that what is being done in certain countries is different from what is done in others. In the developed manufacturing countries, they are merely exporting, they are not importing. And as you may have heard, the term “clearing and forwarding” is not a repetition neither is it a tautology, clearing is about inward bound cargo, that is goods being imported in a country. Forwarding is about outward bound cargo and then in the developed manufacturing countries, why it is freight forwarding is because there many things that are involved in their effort. They have developed their economy in such a way that it is a business; it employs a whole lot of people including collecting of manufacturing goods from factories, packaging them, taking them to the ports, exporting them and all that. So, it is a business of its own.

“But in our own situation, it is merely one thing, clearing of imported cargoes and so, that is why it has always been like oh! Clearing is a different thing and so, when people come up to say oh, I am a freight forwarder, we are not clearing agents, the question becomes what is it that they do? Because not just name, what is it that they do? If eventually all that calls themselves freight

forwarders are also involved in clearing of goods from the ports, then what is the purpose of that distinction of we are freight forwarders, we are not clearing agents?

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