Transportation

FG threatens port terminal operators over service fee

The Federal Government has said that proper implementation of the Practitioners Operating Fee will promote global competitiveness, threatening sanctions on operators who fail to comply with its collection.

It said POF would build capacity for effective participation of Nigeria in the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mrs Magdalene Ajani, said this while speaking at a strategic ministerial meeting with stakeholders, which included terminal operators and freight forwarders in Lagos recently.

She warned that the ministry would be left with no choice but to sanction recalcitrant terminal operators who failed to key into the policy of the government regarding the collection of POF.

She noted that since the POF  came onboard, some terminal operators had failed to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding which had resulted in loss of revenue to the country.

“One of the key measures of enhancing the fortunes of freight forwarding in Nigeria is the implementation of the POF that is designed to ensure sustainable funding of the freight forwarding venture in the country.

“It is relevant to note that the POF will promote global competitiveness and build capacity for effective participation in the AfCFTA.”

The Ministry of Finance approved the collection of POF through the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria.

Under the POF regime, importers would pay N3.5 per tone of cargo imported into the country, N1.5 per kilo for air cargo, N1, 000 on each imported 20-foot container and N2, 000 per 40-foot container.

She warned that where there was failure of adherence, the ministry would be left with no choice than look at the sanctions that could follow.

“The ministry will give two months grace period for all terminal operators to key in after which sanctions will be applied for those who failed to abide with the collection of the POF.”

According to her, one of the key measures of enhancing the fortunes of freight forwarding in Nigeria was the implementation of the POF, adding that the platform was designed to ensure sustainable funding of the freight forwarding venture in the country.

Explaining further, she said that POF was a win-win situation for both the government and the practitioners.

Ajani said, “POF serves as a data base for determining the numbers of cargoes coming in and out of the port and POF application is designed in such a way that invoices can be generated through self services.”

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