Payment of Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) by licensed customs agents has become mandatory for cargo to be cleared at the nation’s ports, the Federal Government declared on Tuesday in Lagos.
Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Mr. Sam Nwakohu, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting where he also made known that approval for the collection had been granted by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
According to the Registrar, plans are already on to digitalize the payment of the POF before the end of the year.
Nwakohu told the gathering that the initiative to ensure POF payment would be of benefit for all parties as it would support capacity building for effective participation of the freight forwarders in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement regime.
Urging the freight forwarders on compliance, the Registrar said the action had become necessary to encourage global competitiveness among practitioners, even as he charged them on conformity to rules and regulation of practice.
He said: “In the months to come, we shall be spending a great deal of our time on how to complete on the global platform. It, therefore, becomes imperative that we must raise a financial capital to the fund and face the battle and the practitioner’s operating fee, POF, is our first point of take-off.
“The POF regime is a win-win for the government and the practitioners with the promise of organised collective action against numerous threats including foreign intrusion and dominance, near absence of local content participation in oil and gas services including the need to build real capacity for effective participation in new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) regime.”