" ITREALMS: Telecomms can’t thrive without courier – Emeje


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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Telecomms can’t thrive without courier – Emeje

Assistant Postmaster General (APG) and Head, Courier Regulatory Department (CRD), Dr. Simon Emeje has declared that the telecommunications sector cannot thrive without the courier services sub-sector, reports CHARLES OKOH.

Dr. Emeje said this during at the annual AFRITECC 2008 Congress in Lagos, last week, noted that the survival of courier is not only vital to the economy but one of the highest revenue spinners for many developed countries of the world.

“All over the world, the post stands out and Nigeria should not be an exception,” he declared, adding that in spite of the boom in the communications sub-sector, it could not thrive without the courier sub-sector.

He cited for instance that if a telecom company places order for an equipment or laptop, it could only be delivered via courier services.

Dwelling on the “Courier Services in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects,” Emeje said some of the factors militating against postal services is lack of recognition of the importance or the role and position it occupies world-wide in the economy of scale and particularly in development of Nigeria’s telecom industry.

He also wondering why a service like the post which is as old as the world should be allowed to die in a developing country like Nigeria, underscoring the activities of unlicensed courier companies, pilfering, dumping and loss of items, as well as knowledge bankruptcy on courier enterprise, as some of the other factors confronting the sub-sector.

The Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) through CRD, he pointed out, has commenced clampdown on some unlicensed courier companies adding that so far about 70 of such companies have closed owing to sharp practices.

Noting that NIPOST venture into the courier services with Express Mail Services (EMS/Speed Post) in 1986, but that it is not proper because according to him “NIPOST cannot be a player and at the same time a referee.”

“In 2004, the courier operators agitated that they would want an independent body to regulate them. In 2005, a ministerial committee produced a draft postal bill on postal reform which would be endorsed and sent to the National Assembly to set up an independent postal regulatory body like Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” he stated.

While calling for a faster process to make this dream come true, Dr. Emeje also informed that there is a dire need for most postal services in the country.

“The city of London alone has 1,000 courier companies but the nation as a whole has 234 courier companies,” he lamented.

Dr. Emeje said by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) treaty, there should be one post office to 6,000 people as against the situation in the country where it is one post office to about 28,000 people.

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