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PRB Passage, Economic Policies Limit Courier Sector Growth- Oladapo

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Mr. Siyanbola Oladapo, president, Association of Courier Operators of Nigeria (ANCO)

Mr. Siyanbola Oladapo, president, Association of Courier Operators of Nigeria (ANCO) has decried the delay in the passage of the Postal Reform Bill (PRB), and  said that political, social and economic factors are to blame for the recent challenges faced by operators.

He said that the passage of the bill; and right economic decisions by the government will help restore investors’ confidence.

Oladapo who is also the MD/CEO of Bowill Errands Limited, told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, that “The courier industry is not immune to the present economic challenges in the country. The economy has witnessed recession. About a year and plus ago when the new government came in, it was politicking; they had to settle and have cabinet in place because the new government is an infusion of many political parties needing to satisfy different groups and party faithful.

“Almost at the same time they came in the price of crude oil was falling and so it has been difficult for them to fulfill their promises. And, Nigeria as a mono-product economy there was a huge challenge. In other words, before they could get their acts together the economy has slid to recession. There are security challenges compounding issues for the country too.

“The implication to the courier is that in places like the North-East it was difficult to do business. Businesses were shutting down. It was difficult for us (the country) to get things together and move forward at the pace the citizens envisioned.

“Also, the advent of e-commerce which is supposed to be a plus, but then most buyers lost the purchasing power; skyrocketing unemployment with companies folding up, these events impacted the courier negatively. The capital market also has its own challenges. Most of our members are key players in the market. Likewise, the cost of doing business was going high. Companies are looking for means to reduce cost. Therefore, in the last one year, all those things made the courier industry to face the challenges as inherent in the economy. In fact, it has not been easy for the players in this industry.

“Those who even want to import are not having it easy because there is shortage of foreign exchange. So, we cannot even assist them to ship things in. At that point people/companies were agitated and were kind of stayed aloof to reassess the capacity of the government to redeem the situation.

“Again, the cost of replacing machinery was there. We have the challenge of buying equipments to replace or rehabilitate damaged ones. Most infrastructure have failed too. The roads are bad. With State Governments owing months of salaries, people are trying to make a living. This has also led to the increased activities of touts who pose as local government officials making lives miserable for dispatch men out there in the street.

“The supposed officials resort to jungle justice; taking laws into their hands and extorting money from operators. When you call to lodge in complaints, nobody will be there to listen, because they have not earned their salaries too. All this has dire effect on the operators. The social, economic and political challenges impacted the industry too”.

Expectations this Year
Speaking further, Oladapo said that the present realities also present the industry players with opportunity to think-out-of-the-box and synergy on how to utilize available resources.

He said, “In times like this (recession) people get smarter; you think outside the box. So, companies will be concerned on how to reduce costs. This is when the concept of synergy will play better. Although, the synergy has its pros and cons. Trust and capacity are required to maintain such relationship in business. Having said that we believe 2017 will be a better one.

“First, the Postal Reform Bill (PRB) is receiving a better attention at the National Assembly. The Postmaster General, we believe, will leverage his political afflictions to get things moved in that direction. It was due to clash of interest in the past that has actually delayed the Bill. The post PMGs seemed foot-dragging on the matter, probably, for personal reasons. But the new PMG has a mandate to change the situation and he would want to score the point. The industry expects that intruders will be shown way out of the industry.

“As government is seeking for new ways to mitigate the forex impasse we expect things we get better; companies should be able to either import or export goods. As the price of crude is coming up Nigeria will have enough dollar (foreign exchange) to back up people’s demands. The courier sector will bounce back also”.

He added that boom in e-commerce space, “once people’s purchasing power is back”, will help the industry blossom to live again.        

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Logistics

NPA Deploys Anti-Pollution Drones

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Hadiza Bala Usman, the managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) (3rd left), flanked by other guests at the drones’ unveiling, recently.

By peter oluka

Hadiza Bala Usman, the managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has commissioned modern pollution and environmental equipment including drones, jet skies and booms for surveillance, monitoring and containing oil spillages on the waterways.

Other equipment unveiled include blowers, pressure washers, skimmers, power pack absorbers and multiple dispersant sprays, according to a report by Ships and Ports.

Usman also pledged the NPA’s commitment and continued support in the area of capacity building towards greater efficiency and service delivery.

Speaking at the passing out ceremony of 125 Officers of Squad 49 of Fire Service Department of the Authority, Usman expressed excitement at the fact that 21 out of the Squad are women, stressing that it is an indication that women are beginning to see the value of breaking the barriers of limitation that the society has placed on them.

According to her, NPA was aware of the numerous challenges in today’s business environment and would ensure that it works towards realizing its mission statement of providing efficient port services in a safe, secure and customer-friendly environment.

She charged the new officers to join the pool of vast professionals in the organisation to deliver better service to the port industry.

Usman said the ancillary skills acquired by the officers like swimming and water rescue, articulated vehicle driving, road traffic crash rescue and first aid treatment were critical ingredients for professionalism, adding that NPA management would ensure “they impact meaningfully in the system”.

Usman also pledged commitment and support to the Fire Service Department at delivering plausible services in line with industry standards, stating that NPA pays premium to best practices.

She said, “Our objective is to modernize and transform operational services to enshrine efficient and quality services”.

Source: Ships and Ports

 

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Explore Nigeria With These Top Four Tour Operators

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By Ogunfowoke Adeniyi

Nigeria is a beautiful country and one of the thrilling ways to explore this beauty is by going on group tours. Of course, you can visit these destinations on your own but to unearth the real excitement in travelling, it is advisable you go in a group.

Presently, there are quite a number of tour operators that organise tours to different Nigerian destinations. So, it is not difficult to get a tour operator to get away with. However, if you want the best, tour operators in the country, Jumia Travel, identifies some of them.

Social Prefect Tour

Chiamaka Ngozi Obuekwe is the Chief Executive Officer of Social Prefect Tours, a travel brand which organises group tours, school excursions, corporate retreats, holiday packages and also offer tour guide services in Nigeria. Social Prefect Tour is one of the popular tour operators in Nigeria.

Unravelling Nigeria

Unravelling Nigeria is a company that uses an online platform to create awareness on the tourism potentials of every state in Nigeria.

They are dedicated to finding every tourist attraction around the country and showcasing it to the world so that Nigeria can become a top tourism destination. It is owned by Lola Daniyan

TP Adventures

TVP Adventures makes travel easy and affordable. It is a one-stop shop for group tours within Nigeria and Africa. TVP Adventures specialises in cultural, historical and nature tours across Nigeria and Africa.

Tour2Nigeria

Tour2Nigeria offers a window to various cultural and tourism potentials available in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria. Tour2Nigeria promotes the country’s rich culture and offer information that is second-to-none to both local and international visitors.

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Nigerian-Canadian, Lola Kassim Appointed New GM for Uber West Africa

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Lola Kassim as its new general manager for West Africa

By peter oluka

Uber, Monday, announced, the appointment of Lola Kassim, a Nigerian-Canadian, as its new general manager for West Africa.

Most recently, Lola worked as a Management Consultant with McKinsey and Company where she led teams providing strategic business advice and implementing organizational and operational improvements in the energy, public, and financial services sectors in West and Southern Africa.

A seasoned professional with over 10 years of global experience working at senior private sector and government levels in Africa and Canada, Lola will be responsible for driving Uber’s overall strategy for West Africa, which includes improving reliability and service levels for uberX and creating additional value adds for driver-partners.

“I am immensely pleased to be joining Uber at a pivotal point in the company’s growth and expansion curve. My vision for West Africa, in particular, is to ensure that we are aligned with Uber’s overall objective of creating sustainable, alternative modes of mobility. In addition to creating value for driver-partners and riders, I will also be focused on ensuring that we continue to engage with our key stakeholders and relevant partners with a view to continued positive impact across West Africa.”

Speaking on Lola’s appointment, Alon Lits, general manager Sub-Saharan Africa, Uber said: “As a company that is deeply committed to diversity and inclusiveness, we are excited to have Lola join the team of other incredible women at Uber – who are pushing the envelope towards achieving the global vision of creating value for riders and driver-partners alike. In West Africa, Lola will be supported by a highly skilled and enthusiastic team covering Operations, Marketing, Communications, Legal and Policy. As we often say at Uber, we are #superpumped.”

Prior to joining Uber, Lola spent 3.5 years as a Management Consultant at McKinsey and Company. She also worked as a Governance Advisor with the Liberian Presidency through the

Africa Governance Initiative, supporting a unit driving delivery of Presidential infrastructure priorities. She began her career with the Canadian government where she served as Policy Advisor to senior officials and managed units developing policy, strategy, and business cases regarding socio-economic development programming for Canada’s Aboriginal communities and foreign policy.

A Nigerian-Canadian, Lola holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MSc from the London School of Economics where she was a Chevening Scholar.

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