Over Five Hundred unlicensed and illegal Courier and Logistics Operators have been arrested and prosecuted in different parts of the country in the current efforts to sanitize the industry of quacks and criminal elements.
The General Manager, Courier and Logistics Regulatory Department, CLRD, of NIPOST, Mr. Dotun Shonde made this known after a clamped down on a number of illegal operators in Ikeja area of Lagos.
During the operation which was the first in Lagos this year, the enforcement team had their work cut out for them after facing stiff resistance from some of the intercepted illegal dispatch riders and their employers.
For example, a particular lady claiming to be an employee of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation created a scene as she interrogated the taskforce members for daring to stop her ministry’s dispatch rider, even when he was alleged of committing an offense for not branding his delivery box.
The lady could be heard speaking on top of her voice that being the daughter of the Woman leader of the ruling party, the All Progressives Party (APC) and as long as the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu remains in control of Lagos, no one could prosecute her.
Though, there were few other incidences, but with the presence of the armed mobile police officers and men of the Force Criminal Intelligence Investigation Department in the enforcement team, the exercise was successfully executed with dozens of delivery bikes seized from illegal operators.
Reacting Mr. Shonde vowed that the on-going clampdown Operation on unlicensed and illegal Courier Operators would continue nationwide as stipulated in the statutory provisions of section 43 sub-section 1, 2 and 3 of the NIPOST ACT and Regulatory Operational Guidelines 2020.
While noting that this year alone, over 500 illegal dispatch riders and drivers have so far been arrested and prosecuted, Shonde said enforcement activities has been successfully conducted in Lagos, Kwara, Ondo, Rivers, Edo, Ogun and Oyo States, as well as the Federal Capital territory, Abuja.
Mr. Shonde stressed that it was expedient for any interested private investors into the Postal, Express. Courier, Delivery, Dispatch and Logistics business to follow the due process and obtain a grant of Operating Licenses from the federal government.
According to him, they are required and advised to obtain a grant of Operating Licence from NIPOST as stipulated by the extant laws or risk facing constant clampdown ,arrest and prosecution.
Meanwhile, some of the affected dispatch riders during the operation in Ikeja claimed ignorance of the registration procedures with NIPOST.
The clampdown of unlicensed and illegal courier operations began in the first quarter of last year.