Lagos State Government has explained that the on-going regulation of operational activities of Courier/Logistics companies in the State is not a new Law but enforcement of certain aspects of the year 2012 Lagos State Traffic Law and other regulations as contained in the Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, made the clarification on Tuesday in Alausa, Ikeja, in response to concerns raised on social media that the State Government has, through its enforcement team, embarked on the illegal seizure of dispatch motorcycles during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order and the subsequent gradual easing of the lockdown.
He explained that the enforcement/regulation of courier/logistics operations was in line with the Nigeria Postal Service Act 1992, Regulation 16 (3) of Traffic Law, 2012, Section 46 of the Transport Sector Reforms Law (TSRL 2018) as well as the subsisting Government Restriction Order on Motorcycles and Tricycles in Six Local Governments and Nine Local Council Development Areas, 11 Highways and 41 Bridges in Lagos.
Oladeinde emphasised that sequel to the restriction order, the State Government observed a sudden spike in the number of courier/logistics operators in the State, especially after the lockdown, noting that investigations carried out by the Ministry revealed that many commercial motorcycles had been converted to courier services without the proper documentation and registration with the appropriate authority.
He observed that the laws and the restriction order which exempted the operations of mail distribution and courier services with the written permission of the Ministry as stated in Schedule 1, Section 326, Sub-section 15 (3), also stipulated that “every operator must have the required operational documents from NIPOST and register in line with the TSRL, 2018”.
The Commissioner recalled that the Ministry had, on several occasions, met with the National Association of Courier Operators and NIPOST on the need to regularise their operational documents in total compliance with the rules and regulations guiding the operations of courier/logistics services in the State, with March 2020 fixed as the deadline for full compliance.
While stressing that most courier operators failed to regularise their operational documents by the agreed deadline date, he maintained that the State Government would not condone flagrant defiance of its laws and any act that is capable of undermining the on-going reforms in the transport sector.
Oladeinde averred that the one-month ultimatum given by the State Government for regularisation of documents was enough for any serious operator to fully comply as required by the Law.