July 22, 2020

FG approves new guidelines for courier, logistics operations

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By Emmanuel Elebeke

In a bid to enhance the operations of Courier and Logistics services in Nigeria, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has approved new guidelines Courier and Logistics Operations 2020.

This is in line with Section 62 of NIPOST Act, Cap N127, LFN 2004 to replace the former Regulations which has been in existence since 2001. In a letter of approval conveyed to NIPOST, the Minister explained that the new Regulations will no doubt enhance the regulatory powers of NIPOST in this subsector of the economy.

The new regulation being a great improvement on the old one is aimed to rejig the logistic and courier ecosystem of the economy and significantly improve efficiency make courier and logistic operation more effective, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration policy on ease of doing business.

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According to the minister, former regulations largely focused on the big players in the Courier industry with no clear cut role and guidelines for the SMEs, particularly the upstarts thereby creating laxity that caused the proliferation of the industry.

This was put into perspective as the new regulations that created six categories of licensing ranging from International operators, Regional State, Municipal or Intra-city, and giving consideration for special Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) Licence.

NIPOST explained in the Regulations that the categorization is to enable the licensees to operate at their levels per time and scope, stating that the new regulations will assist SMEs to grow and create youth empowerment that will translate into employment opportunities for Nigerians.

The new guideline, it said has made it possible for every operator irrespective of their category to be identified with specific address and location that is traceable to before and after engaging their service. This is expected to eliminate the risk posed by dubious operators who may take advantage of poor control to operate illegally.

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The categorization, the agency said creates room for migration as a licensee has rights to migrate from a particular licence category to another, but must do so in compliance with Section3(4) of these regulations as pertain to the desired licence category before the expiry date of the subsisting licence.

To maintain diligence, trustworthiness, the Regulations maintain among other things that an operator will be required to display in their offices’ list of prohibited and restricted courier and logistic items, to guide their customers.