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Courier operators seek amendment of Postal Commission Bill

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[FILE PHOTO] Courier service

The Association of Nigeria Courier Operators (ANCO) has urged the National Assembly to amend certain provisions of the Postal Commission Bill, which are inimical to their business operations and continued existence.

ANCO, in a statement, yesterday, signed by its Policy Consultant, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ujam, however, commended the Ninth Assembly for the passage of the long-awaited bill, which when given presidential assent, will see to the emergence of an independent regulator known as the Nigerian Postal Commission.

“This is a welcome development and the two recognised associations of courier practitioners in Nigeria – NAICA and ANCO – are not averse to the passage of this bill. However, we wish to state and bring to the front-burner one more time that our submitted inputs and concerns about the bill during the Senate public hearing have not been taken into consideration.

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“This stems from the fact that certain provisions or components of the bill, which are inimical to our business, operations and continued existence, are still embedded in the bill. This constitutes a bad omen for the licensed players and would-be investors in the postal and courier industry as the desired return on investment may become a mirage if and when implemented,” it noted.

The association said they were against/ bothered about the two per cent of companies’ yearly turnover being paid to the government in view of other payable taxesm such as Value Added Tax (VAT), yearly income tax, education tax, local council levies and so on.

“We suggested that this should come in form of a commission that would be borne by the consignor, which is the fulcrum of the two per cent contribution to the Universal Postal Union (UPU),” it noted.

ANCO said the exclusivity/exclusive right of shipment weighing 1kg being granted the public post operators alone would not augur well for the industry and not in line with international best practices.

The association, therefore, suggested that private operators should be allowed to operate in this space and charge three times higher than what the public post operators are offering.

It also said that the fixing of physical postage stamp for any transaction above N1,000 would be cumbersome, and suggested that this could be done electronically.

The association, which also kicked against a provision of the bill that their existing licence shall become invalid six months, argued that their licences should subsist as most of the practitioners have been in practice for several years.

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