While the freight forwarding business in the country is suffering from foreign domination, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, the body established to regulate and protect the business is concentrating on revenue generation.
The Council has just completed its membership registration exercise which has fetched the body several millions of naira. While Nigerian freight forwarders are condemned to struggling for the crumbs in the clearing and forwarding business at the ports, the foreigners are totally in control of the oil and gas component of the business where the money is.
Investigation revealed that these companies are gradually drifting to the ports to struggle for available business with their local counterparts. Some freight forwarders who spoke with Vanguard estimated that the country losses about N100 billion annually to foreign operators.
Efforts to reach the Chairman and Registrar of CRFFN, Alhaji Hakeem Olanrewaju and Mike Jukwe respectively on the issue proved abortive as they did not pick up their calls after several attempts.
However, the Council Chiarman had told Vanguard before he became head of CRFFN that there is need for government to control the involvement of foreigners in the freight forwarding business in line with its local content policy.
Olanrewaju, Managing Director, Talod Oceanair Freight Ltd, noted that we must ensure restriction of the freight forwarding business to Nigerians to protect the nation's economy and security.
Similarly, Jukwe was quoted as saying that CRFFN would begin the enforcement by February, 2012, and that only those who have been registered by the council will be allowed to operate in accordance with the provisions of the CRFFN Act 17 of 2007.
He noted that they have completed the first training of the trainers programme earlier in January, which was held in Lagos between 3rd and 9th. This training, which was conducted by FIATA trainer, was for those who are going to in turn, train freight forwarders in the country.
Founder of the the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniegbonam, told Vanguard that the situation is in accordance with what is obtainable in other parts of the world.