Upright and regulatory framework for courier and logistics operations in Nigeria
With the growth of on-line agencies and elevated consumerism, came the emergence of a range of courier and logistics companies offering instant shipping of items bought on-line to the doorstep of customers. The swift courier and logistics products and services believe erupted a brand original slice of industrial components along with but now not restricted to lengthen in shipping, loss or misery of items, shipping to a depraved deal with or particular person, theft of the dispatched items by riders and accidents. These industrial components subsequently name for a regulatory regime for the courier and logistics alternate.
This article is doubtlessly the most important fragment of two articles touching on the evolution of the regulatory framework governing the logistics and courier alternate in Nigeria. More importantly, this article addresses the ask of apportionment of liability, threat allocation and proper of action among the many courier company, the dispatch rider and a third-birthday party beneficiary.
Regulatory regime for courier and logistics
Ahead of the introduction of the Courier and Logistics Products and services (Operations) Guidelines 2020 (the Regulation), the Courier Products and services (Operations) Guidelines 1992 became in force. The 1992 regulations contained sparse provisions and created two licensing categories – national and global operators. At the time of this article, the courier and logistics industry in Nigeria is essentially regulated by the Regulation, made pursuant to the Nigerian Postal Products and services Act, 2004 (NIPOST Act), and the NIPOST Act.
We gift that unlike some frequent laws jurisdictions as we’re going to have the flexibility to examine under, there are now not any provisions within the Guidelines or the NIPOST Act on the apportionment of risks forthcoming within the alternate and the proper to sue within the match of a breach. At supreme, the Regulation recognises the presence of a threat and in an strive to provide a resolution mechanism stipulates in piece 9 of the Regulation that licensed companies must attach obvious plan for handling and resolving complaints from customers within 30 days of such criticism. Then again, this doesn’t adequately deal with the myriads of issues which believe erupted from the continuous sigh of courier and logistics products and services, a lacuna which continues to occasion hardship to market players in that alternate.
In Uganda, a frequent laws jurisdiction, the Guidelines on Liability and Claims Diagram in Put up and Courier Market makes interpret provisions on quite loads of bugging components within the alternate in particular relating to the accountability of care owed by courier companies to their customers, dispute settlement procedures and apportioning of liability within the match of non-shipping, depraved shipping, or misery of courier items.
In the absence of such total accurate framework in Nigeria, the alternate appears to the total theory of frequent laws, contract and judicial authorities to envision birthday party which bears liability within the match of a breach and has a proper to institute an action earlier than the courts.
Apportionment of threat and liability
It is miles pertinent to retort to the ask of which birthday party bears liability within the match of a misery to items or other form of damages occasioned at some stage in dispatch of items by a courier company. The frequent laws theory of vicarious liability is that an employer will be held accountable for the terrifying acts of its employees dedicated within the efficiency of their duties. Most of the courier companies operating in Nigeria aside from for about a hailing applications believe an employer-employee relationship with their dispatch riders.
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In addressing the ask of vicarious liability the assign there is misery to items in transit, within the case of Morris v. CW Martins & Sons Ltd. (1996) 1QB 716, offers some perception. If that is the case, Mrs. Morris, the owner of a fur coat despatched her coat to the defendant (a furrier) for cleaning, who later claimed the fur coat became lost whereas it became of their possession. It sounds as if, the cleaner accountable for cleaning the fur had stolen it. Mrs. Morris claimed that the defendant had now not exercised cheap care in hanging forward the coat.
On attraction, Lord Denning established that doubtlessly the most important ask in organising liability if that is the case became whether Mrs. Morris could maybe well well sue the defendant for the theft of their employee. Quoting verbatim, he talked about that, “from all these cases, we would also deduce the total proposition that once a principal has in his label the merchandise or assets if but every other, in such circumstances that he’s below a accountability to enjoy shut all cheap precautions to guard them from theft, then if he entrusts that accountability to a servant or agent, he’s accountable for the style wherein that servant or agent himself steals them or makes away with them”. From this choice and on a total gift, a courier company will be vicariously accountable for any mishap aside from in sure circumstances wherein the employer will be exempted.
It is miles anticipated that courts in Nigeria will apply this theory and retain courier companies accountable for damages occasioned by the acts of their riders dedicated within the regular direction of their employment subject to the regular exceptions.
This article will be persevered in a extra e-newsletter.
‘Debola is an Affiliate within the Mergers, Acquisitions and Inside of most Equity observe of Olaniwun Ajayi LP the assign she advises folks, indigenous and multinational entities on landmark company transactions.
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