More facts have continued on the current crisis surrounding the stalled resumption of collection of Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) by Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) as president of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Prince Olayiwola Shittu revealed that the major issue at stake is the sharing formula of POF proceeds.
Addressing Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in Apapa, Prince Shittu said his association will not share whatever that is left for freight forwarders in the POF equally with other associations.
According to him, ANLCA should have the lion share because of its share size and operations in the ports.
The ANLCA leader revealed that disagreement on the collection of the professional operating fee broke out over the sharing formula.
He said, “We have never gotten to the level of apportioning a percentage to any of the associations. Even when I was having meetings with the other presidents of the association we have never gotten to that level. But we have had series of information coming from Frank Ukor especially that all associations are equal and I understand that NAGAFF founder, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has already also joined the bandwagon too.
“But the issue here is, can it be equal? That is what is annoying our people. When you are telling people that you must act equally that the associations are the same; that the money will be shared equally.”
He said “ANLCA stand has always been; yes we are ready to go ahead with CRFFN. Yes we are ready to have our own share of this money but no! We cannot share equally”.
He noted that “From the circular of CRFFN that we have seen, it is clearly stated that fee they want to collect will be paid by the person doing declaration, and you can only do declaration by corporate Customs license, not by individuals.
“I don’t know why people are not ready to yield. Even in the United Nations, all countries may be equal in sitting but they are not equal in contribution and definitely they are not even equal in power and contribution to all the expense of United Nations.
“Even in ECOWAS, the headquarters is in Nigeria because Nigeria is seen as the big brother. I don’t know why NAFFAC that is situated at the airport will be crying more than the bereaved about sharing money in the port when it doesn’t even have anything to do at the port.
“I think we need to look inwards. We are just being funny with the collection. ANLCA is on the right part, anybody can invite us for any arrest like they did from the Inspector General of Police office, we will go there and explain ourselves,” he said.
Explaining more on the crisis, Shittu said that some of the association’s officials were being harassed with Police by the CRFFN.
He said “I understand there is a petition to the Inspector General of Police, just as all the associations under one platform have threatened the Registrar of CRFFN that unless he takes drastic actions against ANLCA, that they are going to take drastic action against him.
“But the issue on ground can only escalate because all the stones being thrown have not given room for amicable resolution. We all know what is involved except somebody is the Ostrich and putting himself down.