This Day (Lagos)

8 November 2012

Nigeria: Courier Companies Raise Fear Over Sharp Practices

Up-coming courier companies have raised concerns over difficulties they encounter in the course of doing their legitimate business.

According to them, despite the huge potentials that abound in courier business, the small operators were faced with myriads of challenges, chief among are skewed regulatory practices characterised by bureaucratic bottlenecks.

They have complained of increased rate of illegal courier operators in the system, multiple taxations imposed on them by the three tiers of government, dumping of mails, dilapidating infrastructure, among other sharp practices.

Speaking on the challenges of the industry, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bowill Errands Limited, Mr. Siyanbola Oladapo, said the small courier operators suffer a great deal in the hands of big courier companies and the government. The big companies can have access to billions of naira in loan but the indigenous courier companies cannot enjoy such privileges. People prefer to patronise the multinational courier companies operating in Nigeria because of the wrong mentality we have in Nigeria that the multinationals are better than the indigenous ones, he said.

"However gradually we are beginning to get out of that box because people are now beginning to see that our standards are getting higher. Today, if you are not licensed you cannot be a member of Association of Nigerian Courier Companies (ANCO). If you are not licensed you cannot do certain transactions with the capital market registrars, or even Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). Today the Courier Regulatory Department (CRD) of NIPOST is reviewing the amount payable to get a license. This is in a bid to chase out the charlatans," Oladapo said.

According to him, from January 2013, new licensing fee would be N3 million and N750,000 for licence renewal. For International companies, it will be between N2.5m to N3m to renew license. The new reforms, according to him, would address illegal courier business in the system, and the planned new rates were as a result of the efforts of the association to stamp out sharp practices and illegal courier business in the system.

"Now they are seeing that indigenous courier companies are credible and trust worthy, we are now getting better and that is why the multinational corporations are now patronising us in a way. Today they are seeing us as partners as against what was obtainable in the past when they saw us as nobody," he said.

However, in spite of the challenges, Bowill Errands, an indigenous courier company has repositioned itself to reinvent the wheel by rewarding excellence in courier business.

He said it was the first of its kind in the courier industry in Nigeria to reward excellence in the industry and to let people know that hard work pays.

According to him, the award screening committee is made up of nine Chief Executives and Managing Directors of leading courier companies in Nigeria. Nomination letters for the award has been sent to every registered courier company in Nigeria. They collated all the nominations and sent the names to another committee which is called the award nomination committee, made up of Capital Market Registrars.

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