Silent Achiever: How Samuel Nwakohu Has Repositioned CRFFN For Efficiency – Report

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Appointed in February 2019 to replace Sir Mike Jukwe, the pioneer Registrar of Council For the Regulation of Freight Forwarding In Nigeria (CRFFN), Barr Samuel Nwakohu assumed duty immediately with a mandate to reposition the Council and ensure efficiency in the agency’s discharge of its statutory functions as a regulator of freight forwarding in Nigeria.

Within a short period after taking over as the CRFFN Registrar and Chief Executive, PLATFORM REPORTERS in this Special Report examines the performance of Barr Samuel Nwakohu and discovered that the current CRFFN Boss is truly a silent achiever who does his works diligently without making noise about it.

A cursory look at the milestone achievements of the Council under his watch within a short period as chronicled by this Report, shows that CRFFN has indeed been re-positioned for efficient delivery of its mandates despite some daunting challenges.

PLATFORM REPORTERS’ investigations reveal the following as the current Achievements of Samuel Nwakohu-led CRFFN Administration. Take a look!

1.        Rebranding and Visibility

The Council is in a rebranding mode beginning with change of logo and upgrade in its website and digital operations. The Council’s participation in national programmes has also improved in spite of paucity of funds. Some members of staff are currently serving in different national and industry committees and promoting the cause of the Council alongside.

2.         INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE – PRACTITIONERS’ OPERATION FEE (POF)

Following the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Transportation, integration with Seaport Terminal Operators of Nigeria (STOAN) has taken place and POF collection has commenced nationwide to the tune of 50% and gaining momentum. A nation-wide sensitization workshop on POF regime has been concluded in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano states representing the key operational zones of the Council.

3.         Registration and Enforcement

Enforcement notice has been served to the practitioners and general public and there is a noticeable level of response in registration and payment of annual subscription. Within the period 2019 to 2021 we have recorded two thousand five hundred and four (2504) new individual registrations (  42.52%  of total) and seven hundred and eighty three new corporate registration ( 53.85% of total). Total number of registered individual practitioners as October 6th 2021 is five thousand eight hundred and eighty nine (5889) while that of corporate is one thousand four hundred and fifty four (1454). Any moment from now, the publication of recognized professionals, organizations and associations will be made public

4.         COVID RESPONSES

a]         The Council has been working very hard to convert the constraints of COVID 19 to opportunities. During the heat of the Lock down, we worked with other maritime agencies to facilitate essential cargo movements in and out of the country.

b]         CRFFN was at the lead with the Registrar serving as the Chairman of the Maritime Task Team. Other members of the team are: Nigerian Shippers Council, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Inland Waterways Agency (NIWA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

c]         During the said period, we alongside Nigerian Shippers Council provided the needed transport and logistics for freight forwarders to transact their essential business.

d]         We have resolved a number of cases including demurrage and rent charges.

e]         In spite of our limited resources, we made donation to the government, branded COVID 19 prevention kits to freight forwarding community, staff etc. bringing more visibility to the Council.

5.         Staff Promotion

  1. Management staff promotion has been completed
  2. The release of the 2018 promotion results of the staff on CONRAISS 03 – 11 has been effected.
  3. Recommendations on Senior Staff Promotion for 2019 is currently undergoing review.

6.         International recognition of Kaduna Inland Dry port (KIDP)

CRFFN is currently collaborating with the Nigerian Shippers Council in the project of international recognition of Kaduna Inland Dry port (KIDP) as a Port of Origin and Destination through FIATA.

7.         Development of Digital Haulage System

We are currently developing a digital haulage system (uber-like system) to standardize the freight transportation in Nigeria.

8.         Standardization Freight Forwarding Charges and Operating procedures

In conjunction with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, we are developing the Cost of Cargo Clearing (COCC) and standard operating procedures (SOP) for the freight forwarding Industry.

  •  Construction of Kano Zonal office

The Kano zonal Office construction is 0ver 95% completed is nearly completed.

10.       Creation of new Zonal offices

 Two (2) new zonal offices have been created in Enugu and Sokoto States.

11.        Project vehicles

Procurement and allocation of project vehicles have been concluded to facilitate work in all zones and offices.

12.    Education and training of Freight forwarders

12.1     Normalization of membership with FIATA

Our outstanding subscription with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) has been liquidated and we are awaiting official readmission by January, 2022. We encourage all practitioners to ensure they obtain the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding and supply Chain Management or its equivalent (Executive Professional Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management) before the deadline.

12.2     Determination of Minimum Qualification for Registration and practice.

For the first time since the establishment of CRFFN, we have been able to determine the minimum qualification to practice freight forwarding in Nigeria. This is the FIATA Diploma in freight Forwarding and Supply Chain management or the Executive Professional Diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management

12.3     Institutional accreditations

About 17 new institutional accreditations have been finalized across all the geo-political zones in the country for the purpose of increasing freight forwarders’ access to our approved qualifications. These include University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Umaru Ali Shinkafi Polytechnic Sokoto, amongst many others.

12.4     Freight Forwarders’ training

A major national workshop on freight forwarding as career was hosted in Lagos in October, 2019.

Secondly, the Council has successfully hosted three international webinars between June and October 2020.  Also, inquiries on education are coming in by the day in line with approved minimum standard and deadline of 31st December, 2021.

12.5     Freight Forwarders’ Education

Almost one hundred persons has completed either the Executive Professional diploma or the FIATA Diploma in the last one year.

12.6     Graduation Ceremony

A maiden graduation ceremony is now scheduled for 30th October, 2021 for all those who has qualified. This event will hold in University of Lagos and will attract over 300 Graduands from Benue state University, Nigeria Institute of Transport technology, Redeemer’s University and University of Lagos.

12.7     World Logistics passport

The Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Emirates to enable Certified Freight Forwarders enroll on loyalty programme that will enable them benefit by routing their cargoes through participating hub ports around the globe. It will facilitate transit time of their cargoes thereby improving the Country’s Logistics performance index (LPI).

12.8     Capacity Building for improving Nigeria’s Logistics Performance Index.

All is now set to commence nation-wide training of freight forwarders towards improving Nigeria’s ranking on Global Logistics Performance Index.

  1. Staff training

We have concluded a series of staff training across board including specialized ICT trainings to provide support for the sustainable operations.

  1. Office Accommodation

We have provided additional accommodation for staff providing enabling environment for operations.

  1. Staff Buses

We have also provided staff buses to facilitate staff transportation to and from work

  1.      Operational Integration with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)

The Council is now fully integrated with the Nigerian Ports Authority and currently integrating with Seaport terminals Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) for the purpose of smoothening POF collection and improving operational efficiency