The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has described the dual role of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) as a regulator and operator of the courier business as unfair, inequitable, and repressive.

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The chamber, through its Director-General, Dr Muda Yusuf, said the power vested on NIPOST to regulate its competitors was not consistent with the best practice principles of business regulations globally.

In a statement issued on Sunday entitled ‘Comments on the 2020 NIPOST regulatory provisions for courier industry’, Yusuf said the dual role negated the ease of doing business policy of the Federal Government.

He urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to urgently rectify the situation, stating that it was inconsistent with the extant competition law of Nigeria.

The LCCI Director commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, for promptly reversing the new licence and renewal fee introduced by the postal service.

Yusuf, however, asked for further intervention in other provisions in the courier regulation guidelines.

He asked that an aspect of the provision, which stated that an operator should contribute two per cent of its total annual revenue to the Postal Fund, for postal development in rural and underserved areas, should be expunged.

“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 a multitude of taxes and levies in the course of their daily operations,” he said.

He added, “The provision in the courier regulation, which vests the minister with 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 needs to be reviewed.

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“This provision will undermine the confidence of investors in the courier and logistics business and should immediately be repealed. It is a negation of the efforts of the Federal Government to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy.”

He expressed concern over the insistence that all courier items/articles such as right issues, shares certificates, statement of accounts, cheques, letters or offer documents, weighing below 0.5 KG brought to a courier/logistics service operator should be referred to the nearest post office for processing and delivery.

Yusuf described this provision as unfair, saying citizens should not be compelled to patronise NIPOST against their will, irrespective of the size or weight of the items.

He urged the Minister to take urgent steps to clean up the regulations in the interest of the Nigerian economy, business continuity, private sector development and job creation.