By Steve Agbota
The Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has concluded plans to set up a tribunal to prosecute unregistered freight forwarders operating at the nation’s seaports, land borders and other entry points in the country.
The Council’s Chairman; Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni stated this at the recent AGM of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has been briefed about it and a tribunal is expected to be inaugurated next week that would oversee the prosecution of unregistered freight forwarders operating at the ports.
He warned that all licensed Customs agents and freight forwarders who are not registered with the Council will be denied renewal of their licenses by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
According to him, CRFFN has the mandate to set standards, build capacity, regulate freight forwarding practice and generate revenue for the government.
He urged all ANLCA members at the meeting to update their membership with CRFFN before Thursday next week, to enable them participate in upcoming meetings and elections.
While also reiterating that only members who possess licenses and obtained the freight forwarders’ number and had updated their registrations will be allowed access into the meetings. He added that only a registered member of the CRFFN can sue or take the council to court.
Speaking specifically about what the CRFFN Act, Tsanni told the meeting that: “I wish to draw your attention to section 27 subsection 1 of the CRFFN Act which states that any person not a registered freight forwarder who for or in expectation of reward holds himself out to practice as such; or (b) without reasonable excuse takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying that he is authorised by law to practice as a registered freight forwarder, commits an offence.
“(2) Any person on the provisional Register who otherwise than in accordance with section 13(4) of this Act.,”for or in expectation for a reward hold himself out to practice as such “(b) Without reasonable excuse takes or uses any name, ttle, addition or description implying that he is authorised by law to practice as a registered freight forwarder, commits of an offence.
“So with this it is only a registered freight forwarders that can sue or take anybody to court, so by God grace next week Thursday our Tribunal will be inaugurated the Attorney General has already given us assurance we are going to trial those that are operating without registration. So my advice for everyone here is to try and register with the CRFFN,” he said.