The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has said that freight forwarders who lack minimum qualifications will not be allowed to practise from December 31, 2021.
Mr Samuel Nwakohu, Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, CRFFN, made this known at a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday.
Nwakohu said that there was no going back on the December deadline.
“As regards timeline to ensure that freight forwarders get these requirements, we made a pronouncement sometime in 2020 that it will be December this year.
“If the freight forwarders don’t meet the minimum qualification, as prescribed by CRFFN, we will stop them from practicing and knock them off the register, and anyone that continues to practice does so illegally.
“This pronouncement was said last year and most people that will be graduating soon had finished since 2012, and 2013, so the training had started even before the deadline, it behoves on others to take advantage of it,” he said.
Nwakohu pointed out that the council had embarked on training of freight forwarders since 2012 for them to get the required qualification, as mandated in its Act.
According to him, Section 4 of the CRFFN Act, talks about setting standards for freight forwarding, training, educating and professionalising them.
“Quite a number of the freight forwarders have been trained, they have graduated from certificate to diploma and higher diploma.
“It is common knowledge that freight forwarders are people that involve in clearing and forwarding which is the traditional name, but what we call them today are freight forwarders and supply chain managers.
“It is also common knowledge that in our country, it is an activity or job for all comers, as a means of livelihood but the government said no, that freight forwarding and supply chain management are necessary in the growth of our economy,” he said.
He noted that CRFFN was set up principally to regulate the conduct of freight forwarders to create sanity in the industry.
“We have graduated over 400 people and we felt that it will be important to celebrate them with a graduation ceremony and this will take place on Nov. 27 at the University of Lagos,” he said.
He said that to ensure that freight forwarders had access to the training, they insisted on having one training institution in each of the six geopolitical zones in the country but was later enlarged.
He noted that the journey which started in 2012 had the council seeking international accreditation from the Federation Internation of Freight Forwarding Association (FIATA), the global body that regulates freight forwarding.
“That international accreditation cost us money because that is where we see the train of trainers, we had to invite trainers from practitioners and academicians, we have about 236 persons across the country who are training the trainers so that they can blend them with academics.
“The council bore the cost of training them, we brought down a master trainer from Singapore and all the trainees, their accommodation, feeding sometimes stipends were all borne by the council.
“The council also went to Los Angeles to defend the curriculum and get the accreditation in diploma in freight forwarding, and in 2013 to Singapore for accreditation for higher diploma,” he said.