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LCCI urges speedy review of NIPOST regulations for business sustainability

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Federal Government to review the new Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) regulations with a view to addressing the concerns of small businesses and operators in the courier and logistics sector for entrepreneurial sustainability and respect for human rights.

It held that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration must urgently appraise the directives in the interest of the economy, business continuity, private sector development and job creation.

The chamber stressed the need to save the courier industry from a stifling regulatory regime.

NIPOST had recently announced new fees for courier and logistics operators, leading to uproar in the land.

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In the fresh rules, licence fees for municipal players went up to N1 million with a yearly renewal charge of N400,000

State operators’ fees rose to N2 million, regional to N5 million, national to N10 million, while international operators are to pay N20 million for licence.

All renewals were pegged at 40 per cent of licence fees per zone.

Though the opposition forced the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, to deny giving approval for the increases, the agency, on the other hand, has remained adamant.

In a statement by its spokesman, Franklin Alao, NIPOST insisted that the move was to ensure the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and enthronement of a competitive business environment, adding that the minister had an input in the decision.

“It is part of the strategies to ensure effective service delivery, as consumers would know the capacities of the operators they are dealing with.

“If your licence is for a state, limit your operations to the state/region.

“Kindly note that consumers of the courier service would be better off, as this will drive charlatans out of the industry. Genuine and serious operators would come back to celebrate this move by the NIPOST,” the document read in part.

But the chamber, through its Director-General, Dr. Muda Yusuf, stated that a system in which NIPOST is both a regulator and operator was detrimental to the development of the sector, adding that the practice was inconsistent with global best practices and business principles.

“Currently, NIPOST is vested with powers to regulate its competitors. This arrangement is unfair, inequitable and inherently repressive. It is 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. We therefore urge the Federal Government and the National Assembly to urgently remedy the situation,” it maintained.

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