The increase in the licence fees for courier and logistics services by NIPOST is not going down well with Nigerians and no one should blame them for that. Apart from the sum of twenty thousand naira that will be paid for obtaining registration form, a huge sum of money will be paid for obtaining licence and another large sum paid annually to maintain the licence. According to the recent licence fees, courier and logistics companies of different categories will pay thus:
Category of Licence New Licence Fee (N) Licence Renewal (N)
- International A 20,000,000.00 8,000,000.00
- National B 10,000,000.00 4,000,000.00
- Regional C 5,000,000.00 2,000,000.00
- State D 2,000,000.00 800,000.00
- Municipal E 1,000,000.00 400,000.00
- Special SME F 250,000.00 100,000.00
A look at these charges will make you wonder whether NIPOST wants to send people out of business. Or whether they went for divination and were told that Nigerians are planning to jump into the courier and logistics business so they will be forced to pay whatever they are charged. It is possible that the two options were the reasons behind this fee increase. But we all know that there is no way only NIPOST can handle logistics services in Nigeria, unless we want to shut down that sector. However, from the look of things, NIPOST wants to send its competitors out of business or bully them into sharing their profits with the agency.
The major drama from this fee increase started when Dr. Pantami Isa Ali, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, got wind of the increase and declared it illegal. He called on the Chairman and Post-Master General of NIPOST to suspend the fees increase until they sort it out with him and the mother ministry. But from reports coming from different corners, NIPOST paid no heed to the minister’s order. Reports have shown that NIPOST officials have started harassing courier companies and are seizing their rides. Dr. Pantami also revealed on his Twitter page that NIPOST is claiming that it has the constitutional power to increase fees without seeking the approval of the minister. So, as it is now, either people pay NIPOST that amount of money or they find other businesses.
You know, the sudden increase in licence fees for logistics and courier services is a good example of the proverbial man that ate the forbidden fruit, found it luscious and then goes about seeking for more. If you look at what is going on in the country right now, you will agree with me that NIPOST is just rearing its ugly greedy head because it has tasted the Stamp Duty charges that are placed on almost everything right now. NIPOST has learnt that Nigerians can be easily extorted and nobody will do anything about it. But what they forgot is that it is not about collecting plenty of money, but about managing it well. For instance banks remit stamp duty to NIPOST but the organisation still looks run down. So it is good for them to know that increasing licence charges cannot cause them to improve on their services?
NIPOST claimed that they needed to increase these fees as a way of regulating courier and logistics services when they have not yet regulated the agency’s mode of operation. Apart from that, who destroys what he is to protect? Does NIPOST need to run down people’s businesses in order to regulate them? Besides, what has increased in licence fees got to do with regulations? Is NIPOST actually listening to good consultants? Or does the management just sit down and fix prices without thinking of its effect?
We all know that the problem with NIPOST is poor services and mismanagement. The agency needs to go inwards and work on itself and not try to pull down those that know how to run the business. Increasing the licence charge will still not improve NIPOST courier and logistics services; it will rather cripple businesses in the country and increase the unemployment rate. It is quite unfortunate that as people are struggling to survive this trying time, Nigerian government agencies’ device means to make lives more difficult for Nigerians. NIPOST is just bullying its competitors; it’s high time the regulatory power is taken away from it. NIPOST should not regulate its competitors.