The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has expressed worry over Nigeria’s poor ranking in the Global Logistics Performance Index (LPI). Speaking yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting on Practitioners’ Operating Fee (POF) regime titled, “A New Decade of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria”, the registrar of the Council, Barr Samuel Nwakohu said that Nigeria ranked 110 out of 160 countries in global LPI which is worrisome and must be addressed.
He said to address the worrisome situation, the council must begin collection of the Practitioners’ Operating Fee (POF) as approved by the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMOF).
According to him, the LPI ranking had said a lot about Nigeria’s freight forwarding industry which must be addressed in other to compete with its contemporaries in Africa and the world.
He said, “Freight Forwarding is a big and noble business. It is both trade facilitating and mover of global economy, hence, the World Bank in recognition of this fact established the Global Logistics Performance Index (LPI) as the new metric for measuring national competitiveness.”
The indices according to the CRFFN registrar, are efficiency of the clearance process, that is, speed, simplicity and predictability of formalities by border control agencies, including customs.
Other indices are: Quality of trade and transport related infrastructure (e.g., ports, railroads, roads, information technology); ease of arranging competitively priced shipments; competence and quality of logistics services (e.g., transport operators, customs brokers); ability to track and trace consignments and timeliness of shipments in reaching destination within the scheduled or expected delivery time.
“Incidentally, this metric became operational in 2007, the year CRFFN was born,” he said. “It may interest you to know that out of the six parameters in this metric, five are strictly freight forwarding functions. So, freight forwarders are the real logisticians when it comes to national economy.”
The registrar said, unfortunately, Nigeria is not faring well amongst the comity of nations, noting that this ranking says a lot about Nigeria and her freight forwarding industry.
“To assert our relevance, we must be seen to be addressing these issues especially when we observe that small countries like Cote D’ Ivoire and Rwanda rank 50th and 57th position respectively. This is certainly not where we should be and Nigeria’s freight forwarding industry must brace up and reposition as a matter utmost urgency,” he said.
Nwakohu stated that a cursory look at the new face of freight forwarding reveals a positive disruption in the form of digitalisation. This has enabled big players to build digital data warehouses with millions of data points.
“As a result, shippers can select from different modes of transport, add on services receive quotes and book shipments in a matter of minutes on an online platform. This is a big threat to Nigeria if we don’t respond fairly quickly,” Nwakohu said, revealing CRFFN shall spend it time to see how it can compete favourably in the global platform.
“In the months to come, we shall be spending a great deal of our time on how to compete in the global platform. It therefore becomes imperative that we must raise financial capital to fund and face the battle and the Practitioners’ Operating Fee 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 the 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,” he concluded.