Courier service fees put millions of Nigeria’s SMES at risk

Nigerians are up in arms on social media criticising a new government policy which would see small and medium scale businesses which use courier services paying $645 to obtain a licence and $258 for renewal

According to the Nigeria Postal Service which oversees this new revenue drive, international courier and logistics services are expected to pay $51, 54 for a new license or $20,618 for a renewal.

For a courier and logistics service with operation nationwide, the cost is half of the international counterpart.

Any regional operation is to attract $12,887 for a new license and $5,155 for renewal.

In Nigeria’s major cities, many businesses depend on courier services for delivery of goods, especially in Lagos where the use of motorcycle courier services are commonplace due to the city’s traffic problem.

Business owners sayy this flies in the face of recommendations that businesses should embrace online and e-commerce models, which are impossible without courier services making delivery.

One of the business owners who has responded to this new policy is Olagoke Balogun the founder of So Fresh Neighbourhood Market, a store chain which deals in premium healthy foods.

He described the new policy as a “rip-off.”

Due to criticism on social media over the policy, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Ibrahim has publicly called out the postal service and ordered it to halt the new charges.

According to him, the policy was not approved.

In reaction, a spokesperson for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who oversees Nigeria’s business reforms said he was aware of the controversy.

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