By Adedeji Fakorede
Courier Regulatory Department (CRD), the regulatory arm of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), has called on the general public to be weary of patronizing illegal operators.
Dr. Simon Emeje, senior assistant postmaster general of the Federation and head of CRD said that aside seeking legislative backup, CRD believes that members of the public are critical stakeholders in sanitizing the industry currently truncated by the operations of unlicensed operators.
According to Emeje, the illegal operators are economic saboteurs who deserve no customer patronage.
The Head of CRD made the remarks while announcing the revocation of operating licences of Ambassador Express Limited; Coop Courier & Cargo Services Limited; De Jetmil Courier Limited; Express General Logistics Limited; OPL Express Limited; Proservince Limited (PSI); UK Air Courier Limited and Focus Express.
He said that CRD team has clamped down on “Up I Swear God” courier services for operating illegally.
Emeje, said that by this revocation of eight operators licences, the number of courier operators in the country as at November 2015 has reduced to two hundred and sixty-seven (267).
Speaking further, Emeje sought Government’s intervention, especially the 8th National Assembly by way of legislating on Independent Postal Regulatory Authority.
The Bill, the Senior Assistant Postmaster General said, was attempted to be passed by both the 6th and 7th Assembly but failed.
He said that other Bills sent since 2004 alongside the Postal Reform Bill have since received accelerated passage.
“The backing we need from the Federal Government is to legislate on this Bill to give CRD more biting teeth. We cannot allow illegal operators to be cruising while the legal operators are there. So, the best approach is to pass the Bill which the 6th and 7th Assembly attempted to pass. It will inject live and vigour to the system,” he said.
Emeje, however debunked the claims by some operators that the licensing and renewal fees were too much and unachievable by the present economic indices.
To this claim, he said, “No courier firm should make such claim that the fees are too much, because NIPOST has been magnanimous enough to them. For over 12 years, NIPOST was the only Government Agency to maintain the same renewal fee for the operators under its supervision. Both the domestic and international operators paid N250,000.
“When the review was done in done in 2013, the domestic operators were meant to pay N750,00; they complained and the amount was reduced to N500,000. Yet, they felt it was not economically viable for them, NIPOST listened and reduced it to N350,000, per annum. Now, the international operators were supposed to pay N2million, but was reduced to N1.5million. Looking at this, one can agree that NIPOST has been a listening Body. So, nobody is expected to cite the renewal fees as reasons for not doing the needful. How about those that refuse to keep to the industry standards? This industry must be sanitized for the good of everybody.