The cost of courier services are expected to rise soon as the Nigeria Postal Service has increased the cost of licences for logistics and courier companies.
This is also expected to increase the cost of delivered goods.
According to the new charges by NIPOST, companies which provide international courier services like DHL, UPS and FEDEX, are expected to pay N20m for a new licence and N8m annually while those offering national services are expected to pay N10m for licence and N4m yearly for renewal.
Logistics companies operating within regions are expected to pay N5m for licence and N2m annually.
For firms operating within states, the cost of procuring a licence is N2m while renewal costs N800,000.
Courier firms that operate within municipalities are to pay N1m for licence and N400,000 annually.
For Small and Medium Enterprises, the licence is N250,000 while the annual renewal of the licence is N100,000.
The SME category is for small courier firms which have not more than five delivery vehicles
The move, it was learnt, would increase the cost of goods purchased online.
Due to the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, many firms had taken their businesses exclusively online and depend on courier and logistics companies to deliver goods to their customers.
The practice is most common in Lagos and Abuja.
Lagos State, which is the commercial nerve centre of the country, is believed to have not less than 300 courier services many of whom are not registered with NIPOST.
The new charges imposed by NIPOST, it was learnt, were part of an attempt to increase its revenue and sanitise the system.
“We discovered that many of the logistics companies don’t even have an address. Many of these firms use motorcycles that are not up to standard. These licences will ensure that the system is well regulated,” an official of NIPOST, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
Reports say law enforcement personnel have started seizing dispatch bikes of companies yet to comply with the new, steep rates.
Many online retailers took to social media to lament the new development even as they said the government had done nothing for small businesses. They said NIPOST had already started arresting dispatch riders and seizing their vehicles.
A popular online trader, Tessy Olisedeme, who runs an online boutique known as TCM Brand, said the government had done nothing for small businesses and yet frustrating them.
“My manager called me to say we cannot do deliveries or pick up items. He said dispatch riders were being arrested and that we need to register with N250,000 per bike before we can do deliveries or operate. I wonder why the Nigerian government is bent on making small businesses suffer,” she lamented.
Gifted Clothinz, an online store, said it had to stop delivery services on Friday.
An online boutique for children, Xoxobyriley, said the cost of shipping goods was already high and the new charges by NIPOST would only make life harder.
“It is disheartening indeed. Nigeria and everything about it frustrates small businesses. After paying N475/$1 exorbitant shipping rate, they won’t still leave bikes alone,” it stated through its Instagram handle Xoxobyriley_kidsboutique.”
NIPOST's newest move has left millions of Nigerians groaning about multiple taxation, as the government looks for new ways to generate revenue in the face of the crash in the price of crude oil.
Nigeria's Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has asked NIPOST to put the implementation of the new fees on hold. "Please Nipost, 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!", Pantami tweeted.
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