- Council to operate uber-style truck system
Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi (left), CRFFN Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sam Nwakohu, and Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Danjuma Goje, at the opening of the two-day sensitisation workshop on “Freight Forwarding as a Career” today in Lagos
Effect from December 2019, all licenced customs agents and freight forwarders who are not registered with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) will be denied renewal of licence by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the CRFFN Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sam Nwakohu, has said.
Similarly, the benchmark for freight forwarding practice in Nigeria from 2021 will be the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management, which will “be raised (as prescribed by the Act) to FIATA Higher Diploma in the nearest future.”
Both plans have already been endorsed by the Federal Government, with the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, declaring at a sensitisation workshop Tuesday in Lagos on “Freight Forwarding as a Career” that “not even the President is above the law.
“We will get the NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority) and all other agencies not to allow those persons (not yet conforming) to function. They can only function through the law guiding the CRFFN.”
According to Amaechi, the CRFFN has the mandate to set standard, build capacity, regulate freight forwarding practice and generate revenue for the government.
He commended the body for having accredited about 17 tertiary and professional institutions across the country for the purpose of freight forwarders’ education and therefore enjoined all practitioners to take full advantage of it to remain fit and competent.
He further hoped that the training would “yield better competitiveness in the industry because it is the freight forwarding activities that determine the logistics performance index and therefore the country’s competitiveness.”
Meanwhile, following the desire of the CRFFN management to float a technology-driven uber-style trucking system within a year, the Senate has assured that it would make the necessary budgetary adjustments to facilitate its realisation.
Giving this assurance at the sensitization programme, however, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Danjuma Goje, urged the agency to prioritise the scheme at the expense of some less pressing items, as its budget as already presented cannot be increased.
Speaking on the plan, Nwakohu explained that the many sub-standard trucks at the Nigerian ports and on the roads across the country have meant that containers often fall and kill people/damage goods, and cause traffic disruption, among others.
“To sanitise that, we looked at the whole scenario and know that most people cannot afford to buy new trucks. So, we came up with the idea of giving it to manufacturers or distributors, who would place new trucks, or trucks in top condition, on the platform, just like Uber.
“We will develop an app for this and distribute it, so that intending users could simply call the app and a ready truck will come up. It is still on the drawing board, and is estimated to cost between N70 million and N100 million.
“We forgot to include it in the budget because we were under a lot of time pressure. It is a technology-based platform, comprising a centre, computers and young people controlling the calls.”
Meanwhile, Nwakohu commended all accredited institutions for their commitment to building a career and profession in the field, while urging all practitioners to take advantage of the training programme, “which holds the promise of driving Nigeria’s competitiveness through job creation, promotion of entrepreneurship, capacity building and enhancing ease of doing business.
“Freight Forwarding is an international business and the qualifications we offer are international. Our institutional partners facilitate this programme but FIATA awards the certificates. A lot has gone into the past 10 years of our operational existence; they can be termed years of preparation and foundation laying.
“Within the period, we have, among others, secured FIATA accreditation to run the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management and the FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
“Though these programmes have been best test-run at Benue State University, Redeemer’s University and the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NIIT), Zaria, today marks the official unveiling of this education project by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.