POF collection : Robbing Clearing Agents to pay the Council
*We are battle-ready for CRFFN -Says ANLCA TinCan Chairman, Akintoye
* Takes protest visit to TICT
(Report by Udeme Clement):
In fact, the controversy trailing collection of Practitioners Operating Fee (POF), by Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN), is taking another dimension.
While some Licensed Customs Agents, as well as freight forwarders doing business in the ports described the move by CRFFN as illegal and totally unacceptable, others alleged that it is like robbing Agents to pay the Council.
According to some Customs Agents, most worrisome is the fact that, POF collection is being carried out by CRFFN when the matter is still in Court awaiting a legal pronouncement.
This is also the position of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), TinCan Chapter, Lagos, which is calling for immediate suspension of POF collection by the Council.
The group expressed its displeasure yesterday, during a protest visit to the administrative office of TinCan Island Container Terminal (TICT), Apapa, Lagos.
The protest visit was led by ANLCA TinCan Chapter Chairman, Mr. Ojo Peters Akintoye, in company of other top officials.
Addressing freight forwarders during the visit to TICT, yesterday, Mr. Akintoye, condemned the collection of POF by the Council, describing it as outright illegality and something that is imposed on freight forwarders against their wish.
Speaking further, the ANLCA TinCan Chapter Chairman, emphasised his readiness to defend the interest of Clearing Agents within his Chapter in all ramifications.
In the same vein, Akintoye urged the management of TICT to always do the right thing, by not allowing publc office holders and agencies of government to instigate crisis between them and freight forwarders doing business in the maritime sector, and contributing tangibly to the growth of the sector.
“Only TICT is giving us problem. Apart from TICT , no other bonded terminal operator is collecting the fee on behalf of CRFFN’.
Akintoye alleged that the could be conspiracy between TICT and the Council on POF collection.
Also, he revealed that the Registrar of CRFFN knows that the tenure of the Board Members has expired, that since the Board Members are representatives of the Agents in Council, that the Registrar going ahead to collect the fee without board members in place is unacceptable.
Our investigations revealed that the POF collection is presently being carried out by TICT on behalf of CRFFN, before issuing Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) to Agents for their cargoes,
a situation described by Agents as frustrating and robbing them of man-hours.