If you operate a courier or logistics business or service in Nigeria, you might want to pay rapt attention to this write up.
Prior this time, there has always been a regulation of the courier/logistics industry by the NIPOST Courier Regulatory Department; it was obvious this regulation was not enforced on small scale logistics businesses, SMEs, whose operation is confined with just owning bikes with operations within the state, not until recently when the news started sprouting about a 2 million naira license for all logistics companies before they can continue to operate.
The question now is, WHY NOW?
What happened with the enforcement of this policy prior this period.
Besides I think regulation is of essence in an industry where there is monopoly, high fixed costs, a tendency toward destructive competition and eventual collusion, but then, we have over 300 logistics companies in Lagos alone with a healthy competitive pricing; so you wonder what the essence of this regulation is, other than making money off these small businesses.
Also, probably the COVID-19 pandemic has created more business opportunities in the logistics industry, hence the government now wants to focus on tapping into it as well which is not a problem, but where the problem lies is in a bid to making it difficult for SMEs, hiking the licensing cost and its renewal fees.
As stated on the Courier Regulatory Department’s website, Application form is N11,000 compared to the recent N20,000 it is now been charged for.
Also, payment of a non-refundable license fee of N1,000,000 is what is displayed on the department’s website as at today of writing this article, as opposed to the recent news of a N2,000,000 bill.
That is not all, the department’s website has the annual renewal fee of N252,500 as opposed to the recent N350,000.
How can SMEs survive these hard times with all of this?
Meanwhile, just today we were able to gather via an Instagram page called logipreneurs that there is a new plan for small businesses, SMEs with a maximum number of 5 bikes; where the application form is N20,000 with a licensing fee of N250,000 (see the image below)
It has been mandated that all courier/logistics companies get this license or cease to operate; those that default will be prosecuted according to the postmaster general.
We shall gather more information and share with you right here on SME Digest!
In the meantime, start prepping your logistics company for the license which also means your company must be incorporated, with company’s tax clearance for the last three years, evidence to show capacity to operate courier service including but not limited to indemnity insurance policy of Five Hundred Thousand Naira, capital base of Two Million Naira or a bond of that value, etc.
You can as well visit the Courier Regulation Service on the Communication House (3rd Floor)
Lafiaji, Obalende, Lagos, Nigeria. Their operation days as a result of the lockdown are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.