Postal Bill: Nigeria Loses N3Bn Stamp Duty Revenue
Dr. Asuquo Abianga, a courier expert, has said that the nation’s postal industry can generate about N3 billion in revenue annually through stamp duty and called on the 8th National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari administration to quickly pass the much awaited postal bill.
The National Postal Reforms Bill is expected to accelerate the creation of Postal and Courier Regulatory Commission (PCRC) and breathe life into courier operations in the country.
Abianga, who is also the area postal manager, Lagos Mainland Territory (LMT) of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Ikeja, Lagos, said that with a projection of N3.5trillion annual return, the postal/logistics sector can be ranked among top three contributors to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“Should we get an independent regulator and NIPOST fully commercialized, at that point NIPOST can be counted as among top three Nigeria’s economy pillars because of the potentials.
“The postal industry is worth more than the oil sector in terms of revenue generation. If you single out the Stamp Duty, that alone can fetch NIPOST over N3billion as it was conservatively assessed at the last stakeholders’ meeting. What we need are the enabling law and the tools; as such, NIPOST operations and activities can generate above N3.5trillion annually. Can we calculate the number of people who are currently purchasing goods at the market? In Lagos, we have over 400 markets. Imagine when you fix a stamp duty of N50 on item worth N1, 000 and above. So, how many N1, 000 transactions are taking place from the North to the South, East and West?,” Abianga added.
Nodding in agreement, Association of Nigeria Courier Operators (ANCO) urged President Buhari to complete the reform he started in the Department of Post and Telecommunication (P&T) 30 years ago by working assiduously for the creation of PCRC.
Mr. Siyanbola Oladapo, the Association’s president said the industry has been agonising due to lack of an independent regulator to superintend activities of stakeholders in the industry.
He lamented the lukewarm attitude of those in government since Buhari left office as a military head of state, causing the dwindling plight of the sector explaining that a Postal Commission Bill was sent to the 6th and 7th National Assembly for debate and passage through the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), but has variously suffered reckless abandonment.
ANCO said that the imperative for the passage of the Bill falls in line with the Universal Postal Union (UPU’s) recent drives on global reform of the postal sector.
Oladapo said that UPU, of which Nigeria is a signatory, has urged member countries to adhere strictly to this directive.
He noted that ANCO as a body of courier operators in Nigeria has been demanding for the creation of a Post and Courier Service Commission since the second Courier Summit in 2004.
Oladapo wondered why it was taking such a long time to establish a regulatory body for the sector in Nigeria, when smaller countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast and Tanzania have independent regulators in their countries.