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Courier Sector in 2008

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There is recorded increase in the number of courier companies operating in the country in 2008. As at the last count, the number had increased to 237. The sector also recorded increase in volume of activities as private courier firms have diversified into other areas such as logistics, haulage and international business apart from their traditional mail delivery that has to some extent been affected by forces of globalization. But no matter how burgeoning the sector may look, Dr Simon Emeje, the Courier Regulatory Department helmsman has posited that we are still scratching the surface in terms of exploiting the abundant opportunities the sector can offer. He said only paltry 20 percent of the sector is at present being exploited. In the light of underutilizing the sector, there have been serious demands from well meaning Nigerians for an independent commission for the postal and courier sector having considered the predicament the present regulator, CRD, an organ of Nipost is facing. The department does not have the fund and the manpower to execute the job of an umpire for the industry.
 All expectations were that before the end of this year government would have pronounced and constituted the commission.   This development has further deprived the sector of the needed fervor that would have ignited the real transformation of the postal and courier sector. However all hope is not lost that government may reconsider the implication of not constituting the commission this year and facilitate action on it possibly for it to see the light of the day in the first quarter of next year. Inadequate regulation of the sector has caused Nigeria several millions of dollars investments, income that would have accrued to the government coffers, employment opportunity for teeming population of our youths and growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
For the operators in the sector, this year has been that of mixed feelings as some of the big and upcoming players in the industry recorded some level of progress but some other courier companies battled to keep afloat amidst  stiff competition in the industry coupled with operational bottlenecks existing as result of neglect by the federal government to address urgently the general infrastructure problem pervading the economy. Many courier companies just like other companies in other sectors of the economy would have upped profit made in the year, but for the almost non-existent basic infrastructure in the country.
The energy situation in the country has refused to improve. The condition of our roads is pitiable just as security of lives and property is entrusted in the hands of God as security operatives seem to have surrendered to the superior   firepower of men of the underworld. Many courier companies recorded attacks and incurred losses running into millions of naira from hoodlums during the year.  The rising incidence of insecurity has also resulted that transit times of most courier companies have been cut short as most of them have cancelled moving their documents and logistics at night for fear of attack by armed robbers.
The Courier Regulatory Department within the year tried to minimize the activities of the illegal courier operators by embarking on clampdown on some of the fake operators in Lagos and Abuja. As at the last raid, about 70 fake courier operators have been arrested since the department was created, according to Emeje.
To improve capacity building in the industry, CRD also organized seminars for stakeholders in the industry and the experiences of such brainstorming exercises have been rewarding.  A book on Courier Development in Nigeria was also made possible by Andrew Ebiloma of the department. Even as the department made efforts to move the industry forward, the issue of local government officials is one that has defied solution and approach used by the Courier Regulatory Department and associations of the courier practitioners.  It is really a pity that some people will take the laws into their hands and government refuses to address the issue.. As we welcome 2009, it is hoped that some of these basic problems affecting the sector will be addressed by the government.

 


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LIRS Gives Employers Deadline to File Annual Tax Returns

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The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has urged all employers of labour in Lagos State to file their Company’s Annual Tax Returns on or before the statutory deadline of January 31, 2021 to avoid penalties.

LIRS Gives Employers Deadline to File Annual Tax Returns

This is in line with the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 LFN 2011 (as amended),.

The Agency’s eTax platform, launched in October 2019, gives taxpayers the opportunity to comply with all COVID-19 protocols by filing their tax returns from the comfort of their offices or homes.

In addition, all digital platforms and tax portals are available for taxpayers’ use and convenience.

The Annual Tax Returns, which show each employee’s emoluments and tax paid in year 2020, are to be filed via LIRS online portals only as manual filing is no longer acceptable.

Tax assessments, payments and other tax administration matters can also be carried out on the same platforms.

The LIRS customer care hotline: 0700 CALL LIRS (0700-2255-5477), website: www.lirs.gov.ng, chat rooms and the various social media platforms @lirsgovng are available for enquiries.

Ayodele Subair, executive chairman of LIRS, stated that in the face of the prevailing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on businesses, penalties and fines may be an additional burden on companies’ finances, and therefore urged all employers of labour to file their returns within the period stipulated by law.

The essence of the ongoing media campaign and numerous reminders and appeals to companies on this statutory obligation is to ensure they file early to avoid sanctions, Subair added.

He said: “The steps to file are available on all our communication channels, however, taxpayers with difficulties filing are also welcome to seek assistance with specially designated staff at our tax stations.

“We have made the process simple, quick, secure and reliable for our esteemed taxpayers. We are also available on various digital platforms to assist taxpayers on the process of e-filing.

“The LIRS urges all Lagos State residents and businesses to stay safe and obey all COVID-19 guidelines as stipulated by the relevant health authorities and the Lagos State Government.”

 

 

 

 

 

 


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3G, 4G Telecom Towers in Nigeria Now 53,460 -Danbatta

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Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said that third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) base transceiver stations (BTS) deployment in Nigeria has increased from 30,000 to 53,460 while Fibre Optic Transmission cables expanded from 47,000km to 54,725km in the last five years, resulting in improved broadband/telecoms service delivery to Nigerians.

Prof. Danbatta disclosed this at a briefing for the new Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Engr. Festus Yusuf Daudu, on the functions and regulatory activities of the Commission in Abuja on Tuesday.

The EVC, in the comprehensive briefing, spoke on NCC’s enabling laws, mandates of NCC, structure of NCC, implementation approach of its mandates and methodology, key focus and targets, scorecards, the new soon-to-be-unveiled Strategic Management Vision (SVP), NCC’s contributions to the economy, various regulatory frameworks aimed at improving service delivery, challenges confronting the sector and proposed solutions, among others.

According to Danbatta, the effective regulatory regime emplaced by the leadership of the Commission has resulted in increased deployment of infrastructure by telecoms operators, which in turn, helped to improve broadband penetration and other related service delivery in the telecoms industry.

“The BTS, fibre optic cables and other related infrastructure are central to the provision of improved service experience for Nigerians by their respective telecoms service providers,” he said, adding that the licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) are also expected to add 38,296km to optic fibre cables when they commence fully operations.

According to the EVC, as at November, 2020, active telephony subscribers stood at 208 million with teledensity standing at 108.92 per cent while active Internet subscriptions were 154.9 million and a broadband penetration of 45.07 per cent, among others.

He also talked on various initiatives undertaken by the Commission to ensure consumer protection and empowerment.

These, according to him, include the Declaration of 2017 as Year of the Telecom Consumer, introduction of the 622 Toll Free Line for lodging and resolving consumer complaints and the provision of the 112 Emergency number and activation of 19 Emergency Communications Centre (ECCs).

Other such consumer-centric regulatory measures intervention, according to the EVC, include, issuance of various directions to mobile network operators (MNOs) to protect the consumers from being short-changed, ensuring smooth transition of Etisalat to 9Mobile, consumer outreach programmes, introduction and enforcement of mobile number portability (MNP) as well as introduction of the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 to check cases of unsolicited text messages.

The EVC disclosed that the number of subscriptions to DND service has hit over 30 million as the service empowers Nigerians to be able to protect themselves from the menace of unsolicited text messages.

In recognition of the tremendous economic growth opportunities afforded by the deployment of broadband and its associated technologies, Danbatta said the Commission has positioned itself in government’s drive for a digital Nigeria, as contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020 – 2025), the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030) and the Strategic Management Plan (2020 – 2024) of the Commission.

“The Commission will continue to put in its best in the discharge of its mandates, especially in facilitating the deployment of broadband, which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and national development.

“Also, it is our belief that the communications industry, under the leadership of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, will experience more quantum leaps and retain its current leadership role in the telecommunications space,” he said.

In his reaction, the Perm Sec commended the leadership of the Commission, acknowledging the upward growth attributed to the effective regulatory regime, the central role NCC is playing in the digital transformation of the Nigerian economy as well as the impressive contribution of the sector to the country’s Gross Domestic (GDP).

“I want to thank NCC for its contribution to the Nigerian economy so far. I am not exaggerating about the achievements of NCC, in terms of contribution to GDP and how NCC’s effective regulatory role has been helping the economy in so many ways,” he said, adding that NCC leadership also contributed to his success as the Chairman of the World Radio Conference in 2015.

Engr. Daudu urged the Commission on the need for increased collaboration and teamwork with the Ministry, other agencies and industry stakeholders towards achieving the Federal Government’s objective of a digital economy.

He also promised to support the Commission in whatever ways possible towards achieving its regulatory mandates.

 


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WhatsApp Shifts Deadline for New Policy Update Terms

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WhatsApp has announced that it is moving forward the date for the acceptance of its new terms and conditions to May 15 from February 8.

WhatsApp Shifts Deadline for New Policy Update Terms

When the platform announced a few days ago that it would delete accounts of users who fail to accept the new terms, it led to criticisms, causing some to migrate to other less popular but equally functional platforms such as Telegram, Signal, among others.

In response to all the concerns and confusion, the app owned by Facebook said it has cancelled the February 8 deadline for users to accept these rules, thus delaying it until later in May.

The company said the extension would allow it ample time to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security work on WhatsApp. They will then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before May 15.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp started testing its new terms and privacy policy screen when users launched the app. The screen asked users to click “Agree” and accept the new terms, which will take effect on February 8.

This caused a mass panic caused by miscommunication led to many switching over to Telegram and Signal.

WhatsApp has come out to clarify that the new policy affects only those who interact with WhatsApp Business accounts on the service.

These Business accounts can now use Facebook hosting services to manage their WhatsApp chats, use Facebook-branded commerce features such as Shops, and display an ad on Facebook to message the business directly on WhatsApp.

In each of these cases, Facebook will now collect information on the users if they interact with these business and their ads, similar to clicking any other ad on Facebook.

WhatsApp says the new policy doesn’t change anything about users messaging or calling other users or groups, as those terms haven’t been changed.

It explained that messages and calls will continue to be encrypted and messages won’t be stored on Facebook’s servers. It’s not that WhatsApp doesn’t share any data at all with Facebook; it’s just that the amount of data shared isn’t changing with this update.


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