Quacks dominate courier business in absence of a regulator


Courier industry is perhaps the only sector that has witnessed a dangerous influx of quacks.

Operators of courier companies, who are like messengers sent on urgent errands, now ply their trade with impunity no thanks to the absence of checks and balances.

There is nothing like an independent regulatory authority as is the case with the telecommunications or the pharmaceutical sectors of the economy.

Today, many courier companies have sprung up and most of them are believed to engage in questionable business practices.

The growth of the sector is also stunted because it is tied to the apron string of Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), a largely bureaucratic set up still stuck with the old ways of doing business.

The Courier Regulatory Department (CRD) of NIPOST currently registers and regulates the market, a case of the student who set examination questions for himself.

Because, the CRD do not have the necessary legal teeth, the industry has witnessed such dangerous trends as price undercutting; dumping of goods, defrauding of customers and low tariff regimes.

In some cases, some vital documents have been lost in transit and there is no one to hold accountable.

The only way to avoid the recurring problems in the industry is the immediate set up of an independent regulator for the courier industry.

Luckily, Adebisi Adegbuyi, postmaster general and chief executive of NIPOST, said that his agency has finally surrendered the struggle on courier regulation, to enable it to focus on its core mandate of postal reforms and service delivery.

Courier operators also agree that a neutral courier regulatory body outside of NIPOST, is best for the industry because NIPOST would not be a fair umpire in the courier industry, where it also operates as a courier operator under EMS Nigeria, which is the courier arm of NIPOST.

Their fear was that CRD would not be fair in its regulatory duties since the NIPOST EMS was competing with them in the same courier business.

Dr. Simon Emeje, former Head of CRD who had been championing the struggle for a courier commission, said the move became necessary, in order to further empower courier regulation in the country, occasioned by the increasing rate of unethical practices carried out by some courier operators, who were bent at doing everything within their positions to destabilise the courier sector.

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