Redirecting The CRFFN for Effective Administrative Regulatory Regime – By Dr. Eugene Nweke.
The need to redirect the administrative focus of the CRFFN is apt inveiw of a seeming misplacement of administrative priorities, as evidenced in the breakdown of its budgetary focus (2017-2019).
The following suggestions are posited with utmost good faith:
REFOCUSING THE VISION AND MISSION OF THE ACT 16, 2007:
a). CRFFN, like any other professional Council in the Country and elsewhere in the world, should be administered as provided in its enabling Act,16 2007.
b). Government representation in the Council, became desirous owing to the distinct activities in relation to economic (commercial), safety and security concerns, inherent in the profession.
c). Government interests should be limited to structure and position the CRFFN for optimal effectiveness via capital vote (as provided in the third schedule, “the NSC to Midwife” the First Council), pursuance to government interests to developing capacity in the profession, which has not been achieved yet, the Government intervention is required by way of funding, which will be repaid back over time on an agreed term.
d). As contain in the enabling Act the CRFFN enjoys Ministerial supervision, whose onus is to give” directions of essential character”.
e). The Registrar remains a contract employee of the Council, with a four (4) year renewable tenure, he is not an employee of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, same is applicable to staff work force.
f). A professional Council does not require an over blotted work force, it employees on basis of demand for peculiar service /portfolio.
g). Government endorsement for the collection of POF ordinarily should in nature be a tacit support, regulations can evolve further ways or sources of revenue for the administrative sustenance of the CRFFN, FFCF should explore options.
h). Training and Retraining should take a greater chunk of its yearly budgeting’s, and not as contains in the present recurrent budget expenditure breakdown.
I). Having accredited Five Professional Association, “the Nigeria Federation of Freight Forwarding Association – NFFFA” (The Uniform Voice of the Freight Forwarders), should be regulated without further delays. On this premise, the Government should disengage itself from representing the Forwarders at the FIATA. Over the years, poor representation of the Forwarders was recorded both at regional and global level.
ADMINISTRATIVE WORKINGS OF THE CRFFN:
a). Revisit the existing regulations 2010 – 2012, with the aim to amend chapters and sections that are not in reality with modern professional trends and commence full enforcement.
b). Do a system study of operational bottlenecks, highlight prevailing operational challenges, causes, impact and solutions? Then develop an administrative Program in relation to sensitization and convene an annual town hall meeting.
c). Appoint an Accessor and constitute the Tribunal as provided in the enabling Act.
d). The Governing Council should deploy adequate attention to the activities and resolutions of the Freight Forwarders Consultative Forum – FFCF, for effective articulation and gazette of regulations.
e). Take note, the enthronement of Professionalism (being à watch word is also a must achieve), can only be attained by effective and home tailored professional regulations. The Governing Council must work closely with the Freight Forwarders Consultative Forum – FFCF. Evolving regulations in relation to:
I). Professional Ethics /Code of Professional Practices.
ii). Scale of Professional Charges – SPC (publishing templates/components of SPC).
f). Equally, the Governing Council must develop capacity to enforce regulations, without sentiments.
g). Of critical focus and urgent attention of the Review membership criteria, re-categorize practicing permits/licenses- (categorize and increase the Share Capital of the corporate Freight Forwarding firms).
DEVELOPE PROGRAMS OF ACTIONS:
Evolve A Short, Medium and Long terms administrative programs of actions should in the following professional concerns:
a). A Compliance and Integrity Test Program/ Massive campaign/sensitization against unprofessional conducts and malpractices.
It is important to reiterate that, a Professional Council must not accept internal corrupt practices and maladministration, it belittles a regulatory council integrity and gives a negative imaging where administrative structure thrives on a corrupt premise.
As a professional umpire Preaching integrity and international best practices, it should exhibit zero tolerance to corruption, hence the need to probe activities of the immediate past administration of the Council without an elected Governing Council in place.
b). Probe the continuous Collection of “agents commission fee” at the airports for the association, in spite of ministerial stoppage order to this effect to FAAN, Nacho, Sachol (in Lagos) and other international airports. Such huge some of monies if recovered should aid the administrative easiness of the CRFFN, and inject sanity.
c). Other than building big edifice as administrative offices, cut across zones and states, the Council should develop and build cargo villages, cutting across zones and relevant states, and lease same out for revenue purposes.
d). Alternatively, the CRFFN should partner with the NSC (under a joint venture/MOU arrangement) to develop industry clusters with a free zones status within Border Crossing Zones, Airports, Dry Ports, etc.
e). The CRFFN can as well partner with the NRC to develop more Freight Stations, involving the State Governments.
f). Most importantly, enforcement of the mandatory professional training and certification is key.
g). A joint Ministerial harmonization and resolution on the professional regulatory license/permits (Section 153,154,156 of the Customs CEMA 1954 and Section 18 & 19 of Act 16 2007 – CRFFN).
This is a candid professional advice/suggestions.
Dr Eugene Nweke.