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The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) recently announced new fees for courier and logistic business operators in Nigeria, provoking anger amongst Nigerians on social media. NIPOST increased the new license fees for Municipal operators to N1 million, and annual renewals fees to 40% of new license fees at N400,000.00 a year.

State operators’ fees rose to N2 million, regional to N5 million, national to N10 million, while international operators are meant to pay N20 million as license fees. All license renewal fees are pegged at 40% of license fees per zone.

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The protest

Concerned Nigerians protested online with the hashtag, #SayNoToNipostFee.

“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,” writes Dr Dipo Awojide, a senior lecturer in strategy and personal development coach.

He urged the House Speaker in another tweet to block the approval of the price increase. “Dear @femigbaja, please block this needless policy by Nipost that will cripple thousands of small businesses. Thousands of young people have created their own jobs and are trying to just survive. This will kill thousands of #MSMEs. Please don’t let it happen. Counting on you sir,” he tweeted.

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Some Nigerians accused the agency of using their regulatory might to strangle local competition with the new license fee increase as Twitter influencer Oloye says, “Let me get this straight. NIPOST bought a bunch of bikes and decided to tax the competition out of the market. Effectively monopolising a business that serves millions of people. This should be illegal and I’ll be writing my reps in the National Assembly on it.”

The reactions forced the Minister of Communications Dr. Isa Pantami to respond to the outrage. Dr Pantami denied giving the approval of the price increase. This is yet to quell the anger of most Nigerians.

Other Influencers started an online petition, getting the NIPOST price increases to be dropped.

“We can’t keep being quiet. Lend your voice by signing this petition. Say No To NIPOST Fee – Sign the Petition! @Change #SayNoToNipostFee”

READ MORE: Nigeria’s retail outlets risk CBN sanction, debit N50 PoS fee from customers 

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Business owner, Anita Vams says the new regulation would frustrate her business as she quit her 9-5 to become a business owner.

I didn’t quit my 8-6 to become a full-time entrepreneur and a hustler for Nipost to frustrate my business. A graduate of mass communication but now a full-time entrepreneur. I won’t be forced to the street or beg to feed. #SayNoToNipostFee,” Vams said.

The reactions even got the attention of the Nigerian entertainment industry, as Film Maker, Imoh Umoren complained that monopolizing the sector would lead to inefficiencies, citing his last experience with NIPOST.

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NIPOST one of the top 3 most ineffective government agency want to monopolize logistics. Imagine ordering food and waiting for NIPOST to deliver it, they’ll bring it 3 days later. Last time I used them they shouted at me to come and get my parcel from their office,” Umoren said.

However, NIPOST has said that the new regulations are to ensure efficiency in the sector as operators can operate on different levels they have licenses for.

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In the statement by NIPOST spokesman Franklin Alao, the postal service says the regulation was brought in to ensure business growth for SMEs not frustrate them and create an enabling environment, adding that the Minister of Communications gave considerations before NIPOST arrived at the charges.

READ MORE: Pantami reacts to CBN’s ATM fee cut, keeps mute on directive to cut data cost 

The statement read in part:

“It is part of the strategies to ensure effective service delivery as consumers would know the capacities of the operators they are dealing with. Where there can be issues is where a courier/logistics company with capacity for a local government area wants to operate on a state-wide or nation-wide scale. This would not be acceptable.

“If your license is for a state, limit your operations to the state/ region.” Kindly note that consumers of the courier service would be better off as this will drive charlatans out of the industry. Genuine and serious operators would come back to celebrate this move by the NIPOST.”

Recall that the FIRS also increased stamp duty charges for rents this week and also clarified in a statement that the up to 50 types of transactions fall under Stamp duty charges after there was also an online uproar over the new charges.

FIRS also clarified that its Adhesive Stamp was not the same as postage stamp which is administered by NIPOST for the purposes of delivery of items and documents.

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“Instruments include Agreements, Contracts, Receipts, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Promissory notes, Insurance policies and others stipulated in the Schedule to the Stamp Duties Act. Stamp Duty is chargeable on both physical and electronic instruments in two ways i.e. Ad-valorem, where duty payable is a percentage of the consideration on an instrument; or Flat Rate, where a fixed sum is chargeable irrespective of the consideration on dutiable instrument or document.” Mr Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman of FIRS, said in a public Notice.

 

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