In a seeming bid to enhance the operations of courier and logistics services in Nigeria, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, reportedly approved new guidelines to replace those enacted in 2001. The new regulation creates six categories of licensing for international, regional, state, municipal and intra-city operators. They also seek to licence Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
NIPOST explains that the categorisation is to enable licensees to operate at their levels per time and scope and assist SMEs to grow and create employment opportunities for Nigerians. NIPOST General Manager, Corporate Communications, Franklin Alao, says the new guideline makes it possible for every operator, irrespective of category, to be identified with specific address and location that are traceable before and after engaging their service. This aims to eliminate the risk posed by dubious operators who may take advantage of poor control to operate illegally.
Mr. Ala adds that the categorisation creates room for migration as a licensee can migrate from one licence category to another before the expiry date of the subsisting licence.
While the new licencing fees have become causes of concern, Regulation 8 (5) of the Courier Service Regulations, is more worrisome to operators. It provides that “there is now an obligation on a courier operator to contribute a sum equal to 2% of its total revenue to the Postal fund, which will be used for postal development and delivery of postal services in rural and under-served states.”
The resulting protest resulting from these provisions has made Dr. Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, to renounce the new licencing fees. Time will tell if the Minister will also backpedal on the new two percent revenue tax.