Following the release of the new regulations for courier and logistics services by the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Nigerians took to social media to protest the hike in licence fees.
TechNext had earlier reported the approval of the new guidelines dubbed Courier and Logistics Operations 2020 by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.
However, with the backlash caused by the new licensee fee which was part of the regulation, the Minister has halted its implementation. According to the Minister, the hike in licence fees was without his approval.
“Please NIPOST, our attention has been drawn to an increase of licence fee, which was not part of the regulation I earlier approved for you. Your chairman and PMG (Postmaster-General) were yesterday contacted to put the implementation on hold and send a report to our ministry by Monday. Best wishes!”Dr Isa Pantami
400% increase in National Licence fee
The new charges introduced by NIPOST saw an increase in the national licence fee from N2 million to N10 million, a whopping 400% increase. The international licence fee saw a 100% increase, from N10 million to N20 million.
This means that courier services like DHL, UPS and FEDEX that provide international services are now expected to pay N20m for a new licence and N8m annual renewal fee. Those that offer national services like GIGL are expected to pay N10m for licence and N4m yearly for renewal.
Other new categories added in the new charge include N5 million Regional Licence for logistics companies that operate within regions with N2 million annual renewal.
For logistics companies that operate within states, the cost of the licence is N2m while the renewal costs N800,000. Logistics firms that operate within municipalities are to pay N1m for licence and N400,000 annual renewal fee. For Small and Medium Enterprises, the licence is N250,000 while the annual renewal of the licence is N100,000.
The new regulation describes an SME as small courier firms that have not more than five delivery vehicles
Predicting that the new hike in licencing fee will cause an increase in the cost of courier services and delivery of goods in the country, many Nigerians have taken to Twitter to protest the increase.
Making their displeasure known through the #SayNoToNipostFee hashtag, many Nigerian have come to share their displeasure at the hike in fees.
The Founder of BTDT Hub, Dr Dipo Awojide kicked against the hike on licences fees saying it was ridiculous. He added that it could cause many people to lose their only source of income.
NIPOST should not be allowed to charge these ridiculous fees, @femigbaja. Thousands of young Nigerians have lost jobs in the last few months. Some turned to courier services. A friend who lost his job bought bikes from Oride. Please don’t let him commit suicideDr Dipo Awojide
Dipo is not alone as a tweeter user, Aunty Ada called for Nigerians to sign a petition against the increase in Nipost fees.
Some others criticised NIPOST for trying to stifle competition with such high and ridiculous fee. A Tweeter user, Oloye accused NIPOST of illegally monopolising a business that serves millions of people.
He is not alone as Japheth Omojuwa, a Nigerian socio-economic expert questioned why NIPOST is regulating the people it is competing against. He claimes that the act was “anti-progressive, cronyistic and stupid.”
How can you regulate those you are competing with? It’s like Arsenal playing Liverpool while the Arsenal manager is also the referee. NIPOST cannot play & regulate. The same applies to any system anywhere that practises this. It is anti-progressive, cronyistic and just stupid!Japheth Omojuwa
Fear of Crackdown by Operators
For logistics operators on the streets, the fear of losing their jobs is already evident. A tweeter user, Anita decried the hike in fees, begging NIPOST not to push her back into unemployment. Anita is an entrepreneur.
Another user, Lola said that two of her dispatch riders already cancelled his deliveries scheduled for tomorrow following the claim that NIPOST task force members will allegedly flood Lagos roads to enforce the new charges.
“Two of my dispatch riders called to cancel all my deliveries for tomorrow because NIPOST task force members will allegedly flood Lagos roads to arrest courier companies that don’t obtain a new NIPOST permit that allegedly costs 1 Million Naira!”
Bad NIPOST services
With all the negative comments about NIPOST flying around, several twitter users have also come out to recount their awful experiences using NIPOST services. A tweep recounted sending a document to Norway through NIPOST in 2006 but it never got to its destination.
In 2006, I sent my documents to a university in Norway via NIPOST. Till 2010, the university admissions office did not receive the documents. This is not a joke, this was one of my true life story.Agboola Peter
Agboola was not alone as another user, Dami narrated that a parcel that was sent to her through NIPOST took over a month to deliver.
Another user, Alayo also spoke out about her bitter experience searching for her university degree after NIPOST misplaced it.
NIPOST nearly lost my university degree that Royal Mail handed over to them. I became their staff for like 3 days just to find it. I eventually found it just sitting on one shelf in their officeAlayo
In summary, the new regulation which was expected to be a boost for SME logistics in Nigeria turned out to be a money-making scheme by NIPOST and Nigerians are pissed about it. After seeing several hikes like VAT and mortgage tax, people have raised voices on social media are starting to wonder if the government is trying to make things better or worse for them during this economic downturn.
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