The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, on Saturday ordered the suspension of an increase in license fees for courier and logistic services planned by the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
“Our attention has been drawn to an increase of licence fee, which was not part of the regulation I earlier APPROVED for you,” Pantami said via his verified Twitter profile. “Your Chair and PMG were YESTERDAY contacted to put the implementation on hold and send a report to our ministry by Monday. Best wishes!”
The Minister added that “any change of fee” must be approved by him before implementation.
Pls @NipostNgn, our attention has been drawn to an increase of licence fee, which was not part of the regulation I earlier APPROVED for you. Your Chair and PMG were YESTERDAY contacted to put the implementation on hold and send a report to our ministry by Monday. Best wishes!— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) July 25, 2020
A memo announcing the increase in license fees for courier and logistics services started to circulate on social media on Friday.
A number of Nigerians felt the move would cripple small businesses and further deplete economic activity amid a pandemic.
Dear @femigbaja, please block this needless policy by Nipost that will cripple thousands of small businesses. Thousands of young people have created their own jobs and are trying to just survive. This will kill thousands of #MSMEs. Please don’t let it happen. Counting on you sir. pic.twitter.com/33ucYLlVMb— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) July 24, 2020
One Chiedu Chiadika started a petition on change.org and had garnered over 12,500 signatures as of Saturday evening.
According to the petition, “NIPOST are implementing a senseless fee for grant of Courier and Logistic License which is poised at putting hardworking Nigerians out of business in an economy that is already in ruins.”
Pantami responded on Saturday after several persons mentioned him on Twitter with respect to the burgeoning conversation around the fees.
Good morning, Honourable Minister @DrIsaPantami. Have you considered the effect of the @NipostNgn Courier Licence requirements on the digital economy, small business and self employment? It appears to go against your vision. I would like to understand the logic please. Thanks.— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) July 25, 2020
The Minister had earlier approved new regulations for the courier and logistics industry but said on Saturday that an increase in license fees was not part of the package.
The Regulation approved doesn't include the increase in licence fees they did, my brother. Best wishes! https://t.co/yhTHL9hEqN— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) July 25, 2020