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Courier Service in Nigeria. (Posted 30th May, 2003) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

The industrial age is marked by the advent of modern means of transportation and communication. A unique development at this stage are the multifarious method of transmitting messages - through the rail system, sea faring ships, telegraph via the now defunct Morse code system, among others. With the current Information Technology revolution raging, better and faster means of communication has since evolved and the computer technology has occupied a pride of place. But, a major failure of the computer is the inability to carry physical goods from one point to another. As such the value of courier services becomes more relevant and important to both personal and business interactions.

Courier operation in Nigeria is quite old. Tracing the indigenous African method, message transmission or courier system was dominated by the use of drums, the gong or a messenger. Present day courier service has wider tentacles using extensive network of men, machine and ingenuity. In Nigeria, especially in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja you can hardly turn a corner without sighting either a courier bill-board, advert or a courier agency. This development has created a fast growing sector in the courier industry.

From the last count, Nigeria has over 84 licensed courier operators with many others unlicensed. There are basically two type of courier operators, the ones that have international capacity, that is, has a wide coverage network area beyond the shores of Nigeria and those that are restricted within the confine of Nigeria. In the first category are the big international players in the courier business, companies like: DHL Worldwide Express, FedEx, Overseas Courier Service, TNT International Express, Transglobal Express Ltd,  United Parcel Service etc. On the other hand, we have the locally based courier operators who use the luxury interstate buses, trains, local airlines and other means of transportation to get parcels across the states.

According to the head of the Courier Regulatory Department, Mr. Simon Emeje, he said many courier operators in the business today are mere opportunists who are eager to catch in on the new openings in the sector. He points out that a great number of the operators are not properly licensed and with little or no knowledge of the courier business. He said his Department has been able to flush out the illegal operators in the business and their is sanity now.

This statement was put to test when our correspondent visited some of the operators. They mainly complained of their exclusion from cargo and haulage with restriction to mails and parcels and the high license fee for the operators. But based on courier rules an operator must not carry a parcel weighting above 50kg except in the cargo and haulage business.

Though, the sector seems almost saturated but their is still enough room for competition. A number of value-added services can still be provided via courier service. One, they could help business by partnering with major manufacturers in getting goods across to different states of the federation, though this might entail getting a license for cargo and haulage. Two, the small courier operators can team up to improve on their means of transportation by floating a mail and parcel plane, train, or ship to assist their distribution. These suggestions should be seen as a tip of the iceberg, as a creative entrepreneur can come up with a lot more.

Presently, with its own regulatory body the courier sector is well monitored and efficient. Investors both local and foreign should not shy away from this budding industry. Mr. Emeje has this to say "the field is level to accept more operators, though with a view to operate professionally".

For further information contact:

Mr. Simon Emeje,

Senior Assistant Postmaster General and Head of CRD,

Communication Building,

Lafiaji, Obalende,

Lagos, Nigeria.

Telephone: 234-1-263-3037

Fax: 234-1-263-0911

See Also:

Profile of Courier Regulatory Department, Nigeria.

Procedure for Registering a Courier Company in Nigeria

Courier Companies in Nigeria

Chat with Head of Courier Regulatory Department

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