Benjamin Babine, Abuja
Following the earlier reported approval of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) new courier and logistics guidelines for licensing, Nigerians have taken to social media to protest what is considered by many to be “crippling” and “unfair” licensing fees for courier and logistics companies.
NIPOST, earlier released a statement saying that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami had approved the new guidelines which will enhance the regulatory powers of the agency in the courier and logistics subsector.
The agency followed its press statement with a document disclosing the process and prices to gain license for courier and logistics companies. The agency disclosed that for international delivery, companies must pay a license fee of N20,000,000; for Nationwide delivery, the license fee will be N10,000,0000; for regional deliveries – N5,000,000; while for state and municipal deliveries – N2,000,000 and N1,000,000 respectively.
This was greeted by an outrage on Twitter and other social media as Nigerians called on the federal government on the National Assembly to overturn this new development. At the time of reporting, the #SayNoToNIPOSTfee is the number one trend on “Twitter Nigeria” and has been tweeted by over 30,000 Nigerians.
A few of the tweets of aggrieved Nigerians:
Dr Dipo Awojide commenting via his Twitter handle @OgbeniDipo, said: “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 these from Oride. Please don’t let him commit suicide. #SayNoToNipostFee ”
Wale Adetona, on his Twitter handle @islimfit, said: “Dear VP @ProfOsinbajo, this fee proposed by @NipostNgn would definitely kill small businesses who rely on logistics for their goods delivery and I’m sure it doesn’t represent your vision for the ease of doing business in Nigeria. Please help! #SayNoToNipostFee”
Twitter handler, @Osi_Suave said: “If Nipost was efficient, We won’t have to use dispatch riders. But the govt has seen a thriving business and is now looking for a way to eat from where no concern them.
@DamiElebe said: “Don’t think you’re mot affected. You are. We all are. As long as logistic services have to cough up this fee, your delivery prices will increase. Some may even be higher than the item you’re buying. How can you ask someone with a bike trying to live to pay 1 million per annum? How much do they make? These people have gotten so used to the millions they steal, they think everyone is making cool cash anyhow. I’m so upset by the lack of empathy and I’m sick and tired.”
@Iam_rashclassik tweeted: “We lost our jobs to corona, some are battling with depression(i was at some point), we took the courage to start our small businesses, we are not asking for much, if you cannot provide jobs for us, pls don’t take our only means of livelihood because of taxes
@AuntyAdaa said: “Nigeria has a very high rate of Unemployment and with this Nipost fee, The numbers would double. This is actually very sad, the citizens need to be considered before creating such policies.