The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for the review of the operational guidelines of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to ensure development of the courier business.
LCCI, in a press release noted that a framework in which NIPOST is both a regulator and operator was detrimental to the development of the courier business, saying it is inconsistent with best practice principles of business regulations globally.
The director-general of LCCI, Muda Yusuf, said currently NIPOST was vested with powers to regulate its competitors, noting that this arrangement is unfair, inequitable, and inherently repressive.
He added that it was a negation of the ease of doing business policy of the federal government and inconsistent with the extant competition law of the federal republic of Nigeria. H e thereby urged the federal government and the National Assembly to urgently remedy the situation.
The LCCI chief identified the issues confronting the courier business in Nigeria while lauding the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, for suspending the new licence and renewal fees rolled out by NIPOST.
He sought the removal of a section of the provision, requiring that operators should contribute two per cent of their total annual income to the Postal Fund towards postal development in rural and underserved areas.
“We submit that this provision will put too much burden on courier and logistics businesses and make them unsustainable. These businesses are already grappling with a multitude of taxes and levies in the course of their daily operations.
“The provision in the courier regulation, which vests the minister with powers to compel any licensed courier and/or logistics services operator to undertake free delivery service for the purpose of Universal Postal Service Obligations/or any social service delivery in national interest needs to be reviewed.
“This provision will undermine the confidence of investors in the courier and logistics business and should immediately be repealed. It is a negation of the efforts of the federal government to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy,” Yusuf said.
He also expressed worry over the rule that all courier items/articles like right issues, statements of account, shares certificates, letters or offer documents and cheques weighing 0.5kg brought to a courier/logistics operator be referred to the closest post office for processing and delivery.
The LCCI boss said the provision was unfair, noting that customers should not be forced to patronise NIPOST against their will regardless of the size or weight of the items.
LCCI urged the federal government to take urgent steps to clean up these regulations in the interest of the Nigerian economy, business continuity, private sector development, and job creation, saying there is need to save the courier industry from a stifling and suffocating regulatory regime.