The Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has clarified that the proposed hype in the postal stamp duty has not been approved by his office and may not be approved due to the prevailing health and economic difficulties facing the country and indeed the entire world. He said, “Please @NipostNgn, our attention has been drawn to an increase of licence fee, which was not part of the regulation I earlier APPROVED for you. Your Chair and PMG were YESTERDAY contacted to put the implementation on hold and send a report to our ministry by Monday. @NipostNgn, the power of regulation of NIPOST lies with the Minister. Any change of fee must be specific and be approved by him before implementation. I know the economic challenges of NIPOST. However, looking at the economic hardship of our citizens, we need to suspend any move.”
A public affair analyst and former head of the Bureau of Public Service, Dr Joe Abah, had asked the minister why it appears to have done nothing regarding the increase in licence fee at a time state governments were relaxing taxes. He said it was against his character. But the Minister responded that “the increase, is under investigation by my office, since yesterday. The Ministry and the Minister were not involved. Many thanks and best wishes!”
Asked about why NIPOST who are participants are also the ones regulating the sector, he answered, saying, “We have already approved the process of separating the Regulation from Service. The delay of implementation arises from the stages of following due process.”
Many Nigerians are relieved that the increase may not take effect. Increasing duties or licences at this time of the pandemic would have been tantamount to inconsiderate and insensitive governance. The increase came as a surprise to many citizens and observers.
The Minister said that the increase in fees was never part of the regulations he approved. “The Regulation approved doesn’t include the increase in licence fees they did.”