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Travel & Postal

Pantami hints on unbundling NIPOST

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has disclosed that plans are underway to effect major changes at the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

The Minister is the Chairman, Steering Committee of postal sector, reform, restructuring and modernisation of NIPOST. Other members of the Committee are the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex A. Okoh; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Musa F. Istifanus; Chairperson of the NIPOST Board, Barr Maimuna Yahaya Abubakar, among others.

Dr. Pantami hinted that NIPOST will be unbundled into subsidiary companies.

He made this disclosure after participating in a virtual meeting of the National Council on Privatization chaired by the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

Issues discussed, according Dr. Pantami, include approval for the restructuring and unbundling of NIPOST into subsidiary companies;

  1. NIPOST Property and Development Company,
  2. NIPOST Transport and Logistics Company; among others.

The Minister had in the past expressed discontent with the current state of NIPOST, especially as Nigerians are complaining about inefficient services while most NIPOST offices are visibly dilapidated.

The Minister regretted that daily, Nigerians on social media are lamenting about unprofessional services provided by NIPOST such as missing parcels, parcels tampered with or delivered to the wrong location which he finds worrisome because NIPOST falls under the supervision of the Ministry.

The unbundling of NIPOST is part of a move for the partial commercialisation of service and for efficient delivery.

Travel & Postal

Red Star calls for overhaul of exports mechanism at Nigerian ports

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Nigeria can become a world class exporter of fresh farm produce if the export mechanism at the ports is completely overhauled.

Speaking in an exclusive business session in Lagos, the Group Managing Director of Red Star Express Plc, Dr. Sola Obabori, noted that popular Nigerian foods such as yams and garri can be profitably exported to Europe and America if the hindrances and multiplicity of regulators at the ports can be removed.

According to him, this will not only boost Nigeria’s revenue base but would also give global acclaim to those foods.

Dr. Obabori suggested that the process of exporting agricultural produce should be drastically simplified urgently.

“The export process is far too complicated and should be drastically simplified. Kenya, for example, are experiencing growth in their agricultural sector. The country exports fresh flowers and many other fresh agricultural products into the European markets and that has helped their economy tremendously. In terms of production, Nigeria has a bigger capacity than Kenya. However, with the complications experienced at the airports, our export capabilities are shackled,” he said.

He added, “I am aware that there are various efforts going on right now to address this situation. Red Star Express Plc belongs to a number of reputable business associations that hold regular dialogues with the government to reduce the complexities at the ports. I am optimistic that these efforts will soon become fruitful.”

Speaking further, he mentioned Red Star’s efforts towards providing logistics services to support importers and exporters through the acquisition of new assets.

Red Star

GMD of Red Star Express, Sola Obabori

“We have massively invested in new trucks and motorcycles as well as other essential assets. In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have retooled successfully. We have cold-chain trucks that can move fresh produce from the farms to retail stores across the country. For example, if you run a poultry shop and you are producing your poultry products, we can support your company by using our Cold-Chain trucks to move those products from where they are produced to the retail stores where they can be sold to the final consumers,” the Red Star boss, said.

On the logistics industry and domestic front, the Red Star CEO appealed to the Federal Government to offer a more strategic support and create finance relief that will enable the sector to remain essential in driving trade and commerce.

“The Government should substantially reduce import taxes for commercial vehicles, trucks, and spare parts as the impact of the devaluation of the naira has eroded the purchasing power of most organizations and weakened their ability to replace ageing assets,” he said.

What you should know about Red Star

Red Star Express Plc is a Licensee of Federal Express (FedEx) Corporation, the world’s largest delivery solutions provider.

It has over 150 offices in Nigeria; with international offices in Niger Republic, Burkina Faso and Benin Republic. Its network spans over 1,500 communities in Nigeria and 214 countries worldwide.

Red Star Express Plc is made up of 4 divisions and business units specializing in areas such as Express Delivery, Logistics, Freight, Outsourcing services, Supply Chain Management, E-Commerce Facilitation, Printing and Packaging, E-Archiving, as well as Agro Trade Logistics.

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Travel & Postal

ANCO calls for calm, dialogue amid protests against NIPOST over new licensing fees

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ANCO
President of ANCO, Okey Uba

  • Courier and logistics industry is  the fulcrum that drives economic activities – ANCO President, Okey Uba

The Association of Nigeria Courier Operators (ANCO), has called on operators in the industry to remain calm as the leadership have opened channel of communications with the Government over the newly released regulatory guidelines by the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

Nigerians on social media lampooned the NIPOST over the newly released rates/fees for licensing and renewal of operations logistics companies in the country (SEE HERE).

This even led to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami’s intervention on Saturday 25th July, ordering NIPOST to suspend the new tariff on registration of courier services in the country.

Reacting to complaints by Nigerians on the new hike, Dr. Pantami, under whose purview the supervision of NIPOST falls, took to his Twitter handle to reiterate the position of the Federal Government on the increment.  He tweeted;

“Our attention has been drawn to an increase iof licence fees, which was not part of the regulation I earlier approved for you. The Chairman of NIPOST and the Post Master General were contacted yesterday to put the implementation on hold and send a report to our Ministry by Monday”. He further clarified that “the power of regulation of NIPOST lies with the Minister, any change of fees must be approved by him. I know the economic challenges of NIPOST. However, looking at the economic hardship of our citizens, we need to suspend any move”.

“This directive comes amidst ongoing efforts by the Minister to reposition the Postal Services sector for optimal efficiency, in line with global best practices and as enshrined in the Universal Postal Union (UPU) global resolution of September 2019.

eCommerce

Delivery bikes

ANCO begins discussions with the government

In a press release on Monday as obtained by TechEconomy.ng, the President of ANCO, Mr. Okey Uba, expressed the Association’s regrets over the turn of events.

To this end, he said that ANCO under his leadership has opened discussions with the government at different levels to tackle challenges faced operators.

In his words, “The Courier Industry has come under news lately for the wrong reasons especially with the recent Regulatory Guidelines and increase in fees by NIPOST.

“This has generated a lot of furor coupled with activities of other federal, state and local government agencies.

“The Association of Nigeria Courier Operators, ANCO, which is the umbrella body of all registered indigenous Courier Companies in Nigeria had proactively written to the Lagos State Governor and other relevant agencies last week in view of activating and achieving ease of doing business in Lagos State.

“We have also set machinery in motion to replicate the dialogue with other states and federal government.

“We therefore ask all Courier and Logistics Companies including the general public to remain calm. We are dialoguing with the government and its agencies at various levels to entrench a better operating environment”.

Mr. Uba reiterated that their goal is to render a satisfactory service to the numerous clients and the general public while assisting the government to grow the economy and employment base.

​He added that government at all levels should understand that courier and logistics industry is  the fulcrum that drives economic activities and therefore should not churn out policies that cripples our operations.

“It’s always good to consult stakeholders especially practitioners so as to avoid such policy implementation imbroglio in future”, the ANCO President added.

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Travel & Postal

Pantami intervenes as Nigerians blast NIPOST over outrageous licensing, renewal fees

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NIPOST
NIPOST office (Source: Guardian.ng/Google

Nigerians on social media have lampooned the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) over the newly released rates/fees for licensing and renewal of operations logistics companies in the country:

NIPOST

new NIPOST license and renewal fees

In a series of tweets, the Service said the fees were in tandem with NIPOST Act. “This is timely and coming on the heels of an upsurge of Small and Medium Players in the Courier and Logistics ecosystem.

“Hitherto, courier business was for big players. Provision was not made for MSMEs. The approval of the reviewed.

NIPOST logistics to pay the fees too?

“Regulations has now accommodated all types of emerging enterprises in the logistics landscape and will provide a regulatory framework for licensing and the provision of effective and efficient services.

“The essence of regulating the sub sector is to sanitise the industry and ensure the security and safety of customers items. It is a consumer protection mechanism that will make sure licensed companies deliver qualitative service. It is also meant to allow and assist the small players participate and grow”, Nigerian Postal Service tweeted:

Here are the new fees allegedly released by NIPOST:

In their reactions, Nigerians expressed shock over the decision of the Postal Service to implement the supposedly outrageous fees:

Twitter user @educatdtout, laments thus: “@NipostNgn. I don’t know why we just want to kill dreams of young entrepreneurs, each and everyday we pull out obnoxious regulations. Where was @NipostNgn all this years , any time we see any thriving business we want milk it .  Village people”.

@Bizzychic1: “How do y’all sleep at night knowing deep down what you’re doing is heartless? We can’t argue your incompetence but why use it to disturb other people’s hardwork?”

@ibigbemiajax: “What consumer protection! Timely!!! You consider this timely. In the midst of a pandemic. Who thought this out…. How did you arrive at the license cost? What market insight? My goods are safer with them than with @Nipostngn what things did you put in place to help the operators?”

@pleezbilivdiz: “These SMEs pay taxes, what have you done to improve this sector of the economy. You see entrepreneurs coming up with initiatives & then you decide to introduce a licence fee just to enrich yourselves. You don’t even have the capacity to carryout your obligations as an institution”.

@knouvelle_: “Courier companies have been doing very well, regardless of your regulations. In fact they’ve been doing way better than Nipost could ever do. I have packages that I have been unable to redeem from Nipost for more than a year now. Please work on your own services and leave SMEs”.

@God4kola: “For 7days now NIPOST who to make sure people item safe cant not maintain website which schools, businesses manage without problem. Just try and checked their site as I speak… Nipost that can’t help itself want to help people that already solving major logistics problem”.

Meanwhile, in response to the hundreds of tweets, especially Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) query, “Good morning, Honourable Minister, @DrIsaPantami. Have you considered the effect of the @NipostNgn Courier Licence requirements on the digital economy, small business and self employment? It appears to go against your vision. I would like to understand the logic please. Thanks.”, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, answered thus, “The increase, is under investigation by my office, since yesterday. The Ministry and the Minister were not involved. Many thanks and best wishes!

The Service tweeted that “The honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has approved a new Courier and Logistics Regulations in accordance with…and ensure the security and safety of customers items. It is a consumer protection mechanism that will make sure licensed companies deliver qualitative service. It is also meant to allow and assist the small players participate and grow.

But, earlier tweets by NIPOST appears to indicate that the Minister granted approval for the fees to be implemented.

“The scope of the Reviewed Courier and Logistics Regulations includes amongst other things how to apply, licensing procedures and requirements, conditions for operation, charges and enforcement

However, the Minister seems not satisfied with the NIPOST’s handling of the “Reviewed Courier and Logistics Regulations” hence he urged the management of NIPOST led by

to put the moves on hold:

“@NipostNgn: Our attention has been drawn to an increase of licence fee, which was not part of the regulation I earlier APPROVED for you. Your Chair and PMG were YESTERDAY contacted to put the implementation on hold and send a report to our ministry by Monday. Best wishes!

Earlier in the week, the Minister disclosed that plans are underway to effect major changes in NIPOST, especially by unbundling to subsidiary companies.

The Minister who is the Chairman, Steering Committee of postal sector, reform, restructuring and modernisation of NIPOST, had expressed displeasure over NIPOST’s poor performances.

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