By Ken Nwogbo
Unlicensed operators drain the country’s purse to the tune of N20 billion per annum, according to findings by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.
The courier industry has witnessed a dangerous influx of quacks, who ply their trade with impunity no thanks to the absence of checks and balances.
Though reliable estimates are hard to come by, it is believed that the postal industry is worth an average of N300 billion per annum.
And out of the amount, quacks/unlicensed courier companies control some N20 billion of the businesses.
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 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.
There is nothing like an independent regulatory authority as is the case with the telecommunications or the pharmaceutical sectors of the economy.
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.