LCCI urges authorities to review NIPOST regulatory framework

*Provision will put too much burden on courier and logistics businesses, make them unsustainable -Dr. Muda Yusuf, Director-General, LCCI

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

For being both a regulator and an operator in the courier business in Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for the review of the regulatory framework of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

The Chamber stated that the review is necessary in the interest of the Nigerian economy, business continuity, private sector development, job creation and consumers.

According to Dr. Muda Yusuf, Director-General of LCCI, in a statement Sunday, August 2, in Lagos, stressed that a framework in which NIPOST is both a regulator and an operator is detrimental to the development of courier business in the country, and inconsistent with best practices globally.

Dr. Yusuf said that the LCCI had strong reservations particularly over a provision in the courier regulation guidelines prescribing contribution by an operator, a sum equal to 2 percent of its total annual revenue, to the postal fund.

Dr. Muda Yusuf, Director-General of LCCI

This is to be used for postal development and delivery of postal services in rural and underserved areas, he noted.

The LCCI Director-General said: “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.

“Currently, NIPOST is vested with powers to regulate its competitors; this arrangement is unfair, inequitable, and inherently repressive.”

He described the situation 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.

“We, therefore, urge the federal government and the National Assembly to urgently remedy the situation,” Yusuf added.

He urged the review of the provision in the courier regulation which vests with the Minister the 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.

According to him, the provision borders on overbearing power 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,” said he.

He as well stated that citizens should not be compelled to patronise NIPOST irrespective of the size or weight of an item as stated in a courier regulation.

Specifically, he referred to the stipulation that says: “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 per cent of the amount charged on the item by the erring Operator.”

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