The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has stressed the need for freight forwarders to undergo the basic training that is required for the profession, warning that it will deregister any practitioner who does not possess at least a Diploma in Freight Forwarding by the end of 2023.
Registrar of the Council, Barr. Sam Nwakohu, who disclosed this during the 23rd anniversary of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) in Lagos on Thursday said the move is to enthrone professionalism in the freight forwarding practice in Nigeria.
Nwakohu stated that education and certification in the practice of freight forwarding is crucial as such will place practitioners at par with their counterparts across the world.
He said the core mandate of the Council is to ensure that all freight forwarders are duly trained, registered and certified in line with world best practice.
He therefore urged freight forwarders to enroll for training and ensure their certification before the given timeframe to avoid being deregistered from practicing in the nation’s ports.
In his address at the occasion, the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Anibonam, said the association has been championing the liberation struggle of freight forwarders in the past 23 years.
Describing freight forwarders as the artery of the economy, Aniebonam stressed the need for practitioners to ensure they are well trained and certified in their profession.
“Freight forwarders are the artery of the economy. Shipping is a derived demand and so it is very key national development and nation economy and that is why we emphasize the issue of education in terms of having the knowledge to carry out such a humongous responsibility,” he said.
Aniebonam, however, lamented that the NAGAFF Academy set up to advance the standard of learning and knowledge of freight forwarders is yet to be accredited as a training institute by the CRFFN.
He argued that CRFFN is not a government agency, noting that the liberation struggle to ensure the Council is taken back from the full control of government is still ongoing.
“NAGAFF at 23 is the first link of what God wants me to do for him and that has to do with the liberation struggle creating opportunities for the young freight forwarders to be able to do things on their own and have that self-confidence. That is why the NAGAFF Academy is very crucial to the administration of NAGAFF.
“But it is quite unfortunate that the NAGAFF Academy is not yet registered by CRFFN despite the fact that CRFFN is the brainchild of NAGAFF. NAGAFF as an organisation under my watch founded CRFFN through an Act of the National Assembly which today is a law. CRFFN as it were is not an agency of the government. It is a pseudo organisation and quassi government agency but those who were not part of the process bungled it and started parading themselves as government officials. But it is not over until it is over.
“The liberation struggle is ongoing and the matter is still before an Appeal court. I have given you the platform, NAGAFF as a freight forwarding association cutting across the boundaries of Nigeria, the NAGAFF Academy to study and the law to back you up. You must take back your profession,” he said.
In his welcome address, the National President of NAGAFF, Chief Tochukwu Esizi, said NAGAFF, which started from a humble beginning has grown to be the largest freight forwarding association in Nigeria with membership strength of 6,000 professionals spread across the six geopolitical regions of the country cutting across all the entry points of seaports, cargo airports, dry ports and approved border stations in Nigeria.
He said the association would continue to lead the way by bringing new ideas and innovation into the maritime industry through new and evolving digital technology, maintaining and improving new values, standards, ethics and professional ethos of the industry.
While appreciating all relevant stakeholders for their unflinching support to the success of the association and the promotion of ease of doing business at port, Ezisi stressed that NAGAFF through constant stakeholders’ engagements will continue to remain proactive and dynamic in its advocacy campaigns, until the maritime sector cum freight forwarding is enthroned as a leading economic contributor to the national treasury.
Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam ( middle) flanked by executive members of the association and industry stakeholders at the 23rd anniversary of the association in Lagos on Thursday.