Port operator seeks collaboration between govt. agencies, freight forwarders

Mr Iju Nwabunike, former President of  CRFFN 
 Mr Iju Nwabunike, a former President of the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has said freight forwarders were not getting the desired cooperation from government agencies.

Nwabunike, who stated this in an interview in Lagos, said government agencies were not helping the freight forwarders.

 He said there was need for mutual relationship between government agencies and the freight> forwarders, who generated huge amount of revenue for
government.

 ``I will tell you, government agencies are not helping the freight forwarding in Nigeria. So, that is the major problem we have here. 

 ``Government agencies believe they are Lords over themselves; they can do their things; they

do not know it is supposed to be a synergy thing. It is supposed to be a group thing.  

 ``It is not something that one can do alone. Government is all about> encompassing; so, when
 customs is talking, customs is thinking that they are boss
 over the freight forwarders.
``Who told them that? It cannot be, because as a customs officer, you cannot collect your duty without me sitting down in this place to raise my draft for treating. 

 ``So, how can he come tell me that you are the person collecting the duty?
 

``If they say they are collecting the duty, they do not see the duty, they just verify
it. 

 ``I interface with the bank and I pay the banks. I think they should give freight
forwarders honours they deserve in this country.

 Nwabunike said the erroneous belief that freight forwarders were not educated should be corrected, adding that freight forwarders were intelligent persons with sound mind.

 He described a freight forwarder as an intelligent person with a mind sound enough to connect with the global community on trade.


 ``Freight forwarding is a good business. Is a business for very intelligent people; those
 who know their onions. 

 ``It is not for dropouts; because I am not a good `danfo’ driver, I should go back to the

 port. It is not that idea. 
 
 ``The idea is that you have to learn it. It is an institution that you have to come to
learn, you have to read a lot of books, you have to be in line with what FIATA wants or AITA wants.

 ``You have to be in tandem with globalisation of things. Logistics is a chain delivery; so, if for example, I cannot interact with my contemporaries in America to do my business here
 that means I am lagging behind,’’ Nwabunike said.

 Nwabunike said in Western countries like America and Germany, freight forwarders were accorded their pride of place as key drivers of the economy.


 He urged the relevant government agencies to dignify the trade through their interaction
 with practitioners in the sector, adding that such a gesture would be beneficial to all parties concerned.