The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has identified flaws in the country’s Courier regulation guidelines which it said would kill private sector investment in the sector if not urgently reviewed.
Reacting to the 2020 NIPOST Regulatory Provisions for the Courier Industry, director general, DG of the Chamber, Muda Yusuf, first faulted a framework in which NIPOST is both a regulator and operator which he said is detrimental to the development of the courier business in the country.
This according to Yusuf, is inconsistent with best practice principles of business regulations globally.
Currently NIPOST is vested with powers to regulate its competitors and this arrangement is unfair, inequitable, and inherently repressive.
The Chamber sees the it as 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 and urged the federal government and the National Assembly to urgently remedy the situation.
The LCCI, also strongly expressed reservations over a provision in the courier regulation guidelines which prescribes that “an operator of courier and logistics services shall contribute a sum equal to 2 per cent of its total annual revenue to the Postal Fund which sum shall be used for postal development and delivery of postal services 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 multitude of taxes and levies in the course of their daily operations. We request that this provision be expunged immediately in the interest of investments and investors in the courier and logistics sector of the Nigeria economy.” Yusuf said.
He further requested that 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,as it borders on overbearing powers with little regard for the interest of investors.
“This provision will undermine the confidence of investors in the courier and logistics business and should be immediately be repealed. It is a negation of the efforts of the federal government to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy.
The reality is that many corporate organisations are already undertaking various forms of Corporate Social Responsibility projects without being compelled or coerced to do so. Some have set up foundations with ample resources to drive this process. What is important is to deepen the partnership between the public and private sectors.” he said.
The LCCI stated, “Also of concern is the provision in the Courier regulation which stipulates that: “All courier items/articles such as Right Issues, Shares Certificates, Statement of Accounts, Cheques, Letters or Offer documents, etc weighing below 0.5kg brought to a Courier/Logistics service operator shall be recorded and referred to the nearest Post Office of the Nigerian Postal Service for processing and delivery. Failure to do so will attract payment to Nigerian Postal Service of a penalty of 90% of the amount charged on the item by the erring Operator.”
“Again, this is an unfair provision. The citizens should not be compelled to patronise NIPOST against their will, irrespective of the size or weight of the items. Indeed, it is an infringement on the rights of citizens and in conflict with the principle of fair. It is a revolting provision which the Honourable Minster for Communications needs to immediately expunge.”
Yusuf notes further, “It is also important to clarify whether NIPOST or its parent Ministry has powers to regulate the business of Logistics in the country. The current NIPOST Regulation and Guidelines made copious reference to the business of Logistics.”