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War against Fake Courier Companies

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As the value of courier services becomes more relevant and important to both personal and business interactions especially in this information age when modern means of transportation and communication has evolved, courier companies are springing up by the day.
 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 cover a pole without sighting either a courier billboard advert or a courier agency
However, the bourgeoning courier business in Nigeria has also attracted players who rather than follow the proper channel of acquiring courier license would go all out to catch in on the new openings in the sector without   getting a license from the Courier Regulatory Department. The proliferation in the sector has become so alarming to the extent that somebody delivering a paper on courier event recently quoted the number of courier companies in Nigeria to be 700. The outrageous number was borne out of naivety that not all courier companies operating in Nigeria are registered. According to her, within the same building her office (Asset Management company) is located, there are several courier companies operating in the same building.
This is the stack reality of how the industry is, where the number of unlicensed courier  companies by far outnumber the registered ones. The Courier Regulatory Department of Nipost was created as a child of circumstance to sanitize the courier industry in Nigeria and true to expectation; the department has done so much within its mean resources to bring sanity into the industry. Looking at the achievements of the regulatory body, courier operators have variously agitated that it be empowered by the government to enable it face the onerous challenges weighing it down. They argue that the regulatory responsibility handled by  the CRD vide Decree 41 of 1992 is highly limited in powers and that this limitation has not allowed the department to regulate the way it should even though it has recorded breathtaking achievements in the industry .
Under the leadership of Dr Simon Emeje, the CRD has been able to transform the courier industry from the mess it was some years ago to the level it is now.   However the war is far from being won though the department has been launching attacks on illegal courier companies almost on monthly basis irrespective of where the fake courier company is located in Nigeria.  The regulatory department has also reassured that more raids will be launched on some illegal courier companies already identified and penciled down for attack. The efforts of men of the CRD have saved several millions of naira for genuine courier companies who are already facing a lull in their business as a result of the economic recession. As the year is winding up, courier companies are also required to renew their licenses to enable them operate in the New Year.  The activities of the fake courier operators cut down the income of the licensed ones such that many of the registered firms are facing extinction.
In the whole process, government seems unperturbed by the activities of illegal courier operators who have constantly made the pockets of registered ones to be bleeding. Illegal courier companies operate in a different world and it can only take adequate measures to be able to contend with the scourge.  The CRD is handicapped to battle illegal courier operators squarely.
The way out of this is to empower the Courier Regulatory Department by making it a commission independent of Nipost. The commission will create a business environment conducive for postal operations on behalf of the federal government of Nigeria, facilitate, promote and ensure the implementation of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) of the government as recommended by the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The activities of the commission will also contribute greatly to the economic development of Nigeria considering the fact that the post is a major segment of the communications industry. With adequate regulation in place, the industry is capable of attracting more local and foreign investors which will impact greatly on our economy.

 


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Telecom

Ndukwe Reveals Secret of MTN’s Dominance Of Nigeria’s Telecoms Space

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Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Erstwhile Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been speaking on why foremost telecommunications services provider, MTN, has continued to dominate the Nigerian telecom space like a colossus.

Ndukwe, speaking on Tuesday as a guest at the Virtual Digital Africa VIP Leadership Series powered by Digital Africa, organisers of the annual Digital Africa Conference & Exhibitions, noted that three factors – strong financial position, good management and discipline in terms of managing resources, separate MTN from the rest of the pack.

“I think it is important to say that MTN is a particularly disciplined company right from its roots; it has always been a well-run organization. It has not had the board squabbles of its competitions. Since the first board of MTN (Nigeria), some of the board members just retired last year (2019). Meanwhile, their competitions have had various owners, various quarrels, and various issues,” he said.

Ndukwe, who is the Chairman of MTN Nigeria Board, said that nobody can be blamed for this position as the way organisations manage their affairs translates to the kind of position they occupy in the business environment.

“One thing that people don’t know also is that for the first five years of existence of MTN in Nigeria, it did not pay dividends to its shareholders. They recognized the importance of scale and were pumping in all the earnings, all the profits into building networks. They started building their own microwave links; they started building their own fibre optic links all across the country because it’s a matter of planning.

“Let it be said that technology changes, the best company today might not be the best company tomorrow. A few years ago, Facebook was not on the reckoning but today, is a much bigger company. People might not make it in terms of telecommunications service delivery because in certain countries, there is actually a certain number after which the market gets saturated. There are opportunities in the technology space; all that is needed is for operators to discover them and leverage.

“When Zoom started, no person knew it was going to scale to the level it has now reached; thanks to Coronavirus. People should continue to look for opportunities and niche markets and go there because that’s where they can scale. There are many companies that are doing very well in the financial technology space in the country too.”

Dr. Ndukwe also talked about NITEL, 5G, the Stock Market, companies he admires in Nigeria and the concept of a single African Telecoms network.


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Broadcasting

TStv Lures Subscribers with N5 Daily Subscription

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TStv, a local satellite television network, has said that it will on October 1, roll out pay-per-view services in 18 states to mark the country’s independence on October 1.

TStv Lures Subscribers with N5 Daily Subscription

Dr. Bright Echefu, managing director of the company, who said this on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the company had surmounted the challenges it encountered after its launch in October 2017 and was better positioned to deliver quality services to Nigerians.

He said that the pay-per-view entails the minimum of N3 and maximum of N5 daily subscription per channel.

According to him, the company since 2017 went back to the drawing board to address all lapses to give Nigerians value for money and that while services will begin in 18 states on October 1, the remaining states will enjoy services from October 10.

“While we were off the radar, we properly studied the business and we have created a model to fit every Nigerian’s desire. We have created the pay as you view model where Nigerians will pay only for the channels they want to watch.

“Nigerians will be able to choose their bouquet by themselves, by choosing only those channels that they want to watch and pay for with a minimal amount per pay; 108 channels are available on our platform and more than 80 of them are High Definition (HD),” he said.

Echefu also said that as a gift to Nigerians for their steadfastness and understanding, the company had made the Grande Sports Extra Channel and some other local channels free to all Nigerians for one year.

While saying that Nigerians would be able to enjoy the ability to pause the decoder when not in use for a long period, he however, said that to safeguard against abuse, genuine reasons must be given for pausing the services.

He also commended the Federal Government for giving the company the desired support to start again after the challenges that led to its failure when it was first launched.


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E-Financial

Oreoluwa Adesakin, First Bank Staff Jailed for Stealing N49m

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Oreoluwa Adesakin, a staff of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has been convicted for fraud and handed a total term of 98 years in prison by Justice Muniru Olagunju of the Oyo State High Court.

Oreoluwa Adesakin, First Bank Staff Jailed for Stealing N49m

Oreoluwa Adesakin

But she will spend just seven years in jail.

Adesakin was found to have committed financial fraud against First Bank to the tune of N49,320,652.32.

She also stole $368,203.00 belonging to the bank, which she converted to her personal use.

Adesakin, before she was busted by the bank and sacked, was its Money Transfer Operator, saddled with the responsibility of effecting payments through Western Union Money Transfer and MoneyGram platforms.

The convict was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a 14-count charge, bordering on stealing, forgery and fraudulent accounting.

One of the counts read: “That you Oreoluwa Adesakin sometime between the months of May, 2013 and November, 2013, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division, whilst being a staff of First Bank PLC stole the sum of N25,974,116.13 (Twenty Five Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, One Hundred and Sixteen Naira, Thirteen Kobo) from First Bank PLC MoneyGram Payment Naira Account, property of First bank PLC.”

She pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Usman Murtala, prosecution counsel, presented every vital document and witnesses which nailed the convict.

Justice Olagunju noted that the EFCC presented incontrovertible evidence against the convict and did a diligent investigation and prosecution.

He thus pronounced Adesakin guilty of all the counts.

He sentenced her to seven years in prison without an option of fine on each of the 14 counts. The sentencing will run concurrently.

Apart from the jail term, the convict is also to restitute the First Bank, through the EFCC, all the money she stole.

The convict was arraigned April 4, 2014 by the EFCC following a conclusion of investigations against her which arose from a petition from her former employer, dated December 18, 2013.

The bank alleged in the petition that Adesakin fraudulently manipulated its Moneygram accounting and withdrew N49,320,652.32 and another $368,203.00 for herself, which the bank only uncovered while reviewing its internal account.

The EFCC was also able to establish that the convict used part of the proceeds of her crime to acquire landed properties in different parts of Oyo State.


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