By Godwin Oritse
THE Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, (ANLCA), and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria, (CRFFN) are on a collision course over the collection of freight forwarders practicing fees. ANCLA has expressed its opposition to the fees since it was introduced by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria, (CRFFN).
Eye witness account told Vanguard that the collection of the fees had commenced in Seme when the leadership of Seme chapter of ANLCA , was alleged to have mobilized thugs to stop the exercise.
Chairman, Seme chapter of NAGAFF, Ekene Ajunwa told newsmen that the thugs attacked the CRFFN Task Force involved in the collection, adding that their Coaster bus was damaged in the process. Speaking to journalists at the weekend, the National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Mr. Kayode Farinto said that it is not the function of the Registrar of the Council, Sir Mike Jukwe to give directive for the fees to be collected.
Farinto also said that there is a directive to the Registrar not to initiate the collection of practicing fee until a governing council is put in place. He explained that the Registrar is a staff of the Council, and therefore cannot be the Chief Executive Officer of the same Council where he draws a salary. He said “Until there is a governing Council in place, we will insist that our members do not pay any practicing fees “The Registrar is only meant to take notes and minutes of meetings, the Registrar cannot be the CEO because he is a staff of the Council.”
Farinto further explained that the directive from the Presidency to the Registrar not collect fees is still very much in force adding that until there is a counter directive, the Council as presently constituted cannot collect fees. Excerpts of the document dated 15th of April reads “ I am directed to re-emphasized the need for strict compliance with the provisions of the Act on Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria Act 15 of 2007.
“For the avoidance of doubt, in the absence of a statutorily constituted Board of Council, to which power the exercise function under the Act is conferred, no staff of the Council has power to exercise any function pending re-election of the Governing Council. “Any violation of the provision of the Act will be treated with appropriate action .”
CRFFN Registrar, Sir Mike Jukwe when contacted simply replied in via text message that the Council will issue a statement on the matter.