The Nigeria Postal Service, an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, is currently enmeshed in an extortion scandal; this is made known in a letter written to the Post Master General by a lawyer, Mr. Ugochukwu Emmanuel to give an explanation as to the rationale behind some illegal fees collected by the agency.
According to the letter which is entitled; ‘Request for information over recent introduction of charge of N500 without receipt for reception of overseas packages by NIPOST pursuant to Freedom of Information Act 2011’, the the lawyer stated that; “On four different occasions between Month of September and October 2014 I have been made to pay N500 each to receive items sent me from overseas and delivered through NIPOST Wuse Zone 3 Abuja. Interestingly, some of the items were online purchase worth only 2 US Dollars (N330).”
Writing further he said; “It is therefore a shock to note that an item worth less than N400 one has to pay N500 to receive it through NIPOST. When pressed further on what the charge means I was told it is HANDLING CHARGE! Surprisingly, no receipt is issued for this by NIPOST which gives the whole scheme a cover of illegality. How can a Government Agency generate revenue from charges on mails being received with no receipt? This is unbelievable!”
Asking rhetorically he said; “He has decided to invoke Section 1 Freedom of Information Act 2011 to request for: What does the N500 charge introduced for receiving packages sent from overseas stands for officially?; Why is there no receipt being issued customers for this N500 charge?; Was there any Act of National Assembly authorizing NIPOST to levy this charge on customers since it is a means of generating revenue for Federal Government?; If there is any Legislation passed backing this charge kindly furnish me a copy of it; Since commencement of this scheme and till date how much has NIPOST realized from customers?
According to the letter, NIPOST was given SEVEN DAYS only from the date of receipt of the letter to reply as provided under Section 4 Freedom of Information Act 2011.