Over the weekend, some courier and logistics companies in Lagos State resolved to embark on industrial action in reaction to the increasing spate of harassment of their riders by policemen and touts.
Indeed, an official, who spoke to 1st News on Monday, July 27, revealed that touts; allegedly working for local governments in the state, are frustrating their courier operations.
“[The] voluntary withdrawal of our services for three days – Monday to Wednesday. This week is a sign of concern over extortionist agents on the road;, including [local government] councils, VIS, MOT,” the official said.
“We are ready to pay whatever legitimate fees due to the state and Local Government to operate our businesses in Lagos State. However, we just don’t want harassment from touts for no just cause; because they impound our bikes daily and demand payments for documents we already have.”
Some of the courier operators accused local government officials of extorting them. Also, a few of the operators singled out Ikorodu Local Government for blame.
“Ikorodu Local Government alone has three papers that you need to pay for,” an operator who pleaded anonymity said. “None of these is in the guidelines given by the state government.”
Also, in a trending video sent to our correspondent; a courier was accosted with his motorcycle at the Mushin area of Lagos.
Specifically, he revealed that this occurred while he was going to deliver goods to customers.
Equally important, the tout seen in the video insisted that unless N5,000 is paid to him; the courier will not be allowed to leave the location.
“Do you know that what you’re doing is absolutely illegal,” a lady who runs the logistics company whose courier was accosted said in the video.
“He asked for a paper and we gave it to him, now, he said the bike will not move except we give him N5,000.”
However, a spokesperson to the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Bolanle Ogunlola said the government is not aware of touts harassing courier companies.
But asked what is being done by the government to ensure the security of courier companies in the face of touts, she questioned; “Which touts are you referring to ? are they, government officials?
“Now that you are bringing it to our awareness, we’ll look into it because they are not supposed to be disturbed their operations once they comply in terms of guidelines and registration.
“I am not aware that they disturb the activities of dispatch riders. I’m just hearing this for the first time.”
Furthermore, she said the government will use its enforcement officers to rid the touts from the road.
Meanwhile, according to Schedule 1, Section 326 Sub-Section 15 (1,2,3) of the Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018, every logistics company operator must obtain:
- NIPOST Approval
- Plate Number
- Allocation of Plate Number Form
- Proof of ownership
- Inspection Certificate
- Roadworthiness Certificate
- Insurance Policy (Comprehensive)
- Vehicle License
- Hackney Permit/Stage Carriage
- Approval to operate mail distribution and courier services from the State
- LASAA Branding Permit.
“The Commissioner (of transportation) may by order suspend, cancel or revoke an Operator’s License where the holder has failed to comply with any of the provisions of these Regulations.”