The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has assured that it is fighting to ensure Nigerian freight forwarders are not prevented from practicing in other countries in order to harness benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)
Chairman of CRFFN, Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar gave the assurance on Friday in Apapa at a conference tagged “Maximizing Benefits of Intra African Trade Under AfCFTA Regime” organized in Lagos yesterday .
The CRFFN boss who chaired the event yesterday observed that Nigerian business environment has been too liberalised, a situation whereby non Africans are allowed unfettered access to clearing of cargoes from Customs control, while same benefit is not extended to Nigerians abroad.
According to him “This development contradicts the principles of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which seeks amongst other things, to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers and sustaining reciprocal advantages among trading countries”
Tsanni assured that CRFFN will continue to liaise with government and across the border authorities to ensure that the AfCFTA is not further used to undermine Nigerian freight forwarders.
Speaking, he said “We in CRFFN as regulators are making conscious efforts to improve on the quality and standards of Nigerian freight forwarders”
“We shall pursue and ensure that the Nigerian freight forwarder is not unduly prevented by their peers in other countries by promoting their unfettered access to businesses outside the shores of Nigeria within the ambit of African Continental Free Trade Agreement”
“As a country, Nigeria is the largest single market in West and Central Africa and it is not out of place for us to develop and encourage spread of our business tentacles around in other countries”
The CRFFN boss applauded the bold steps being taken by the Nigerian Shippers Council to achieve effective commercial regulation in the transport chain.
He assured of forging a stronger tie with Shippers Council to ensure that Nigerian freight forwarders are allowed unfettered access to practice in other countries, just the way Nigeria has been allowing other nationals in Nigeria, even before the signing of the AfCFTA agreement.
He however cautioned Nigerian freight forwarders to upgrade themselves in anticipation of the AfCFTA agreement.
He cautioned truck drivers to avoid operating rickety trucks, put their trucks and tankers up to standard in order to avoid foreigners overrunning them with better infrastructures.
Tsanni also advised importers to be prepared for cost of clearing shortly after initiating process of importation.
He said that “Looking for funds to clear consignment after they have arrived our ports increases risks of port congestion and cost of demurrage”
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