Postal Services – Stemming the Cacophony!

The Department for Regulation and Control of Postal Activities in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has envisaged field controls.

The postal sector in the country is sick, with many benefitting from the malaise to feed fat. The sector is plagued by cacophony, and the Interim Director of Regulation and Control of Postal Activities in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Kalpele, admits this. “We can readily say that there is disorder in the sector,” Kalpele told Cameroon Tribune, insisting that there has been some laisser-faire in the sector due to the lack of a legal framework. And now that there is one, the Ministry is insisting on regulating the sector. Meanwhile, the country’s postal sector has one public operator, Cameroon Postal Services (CAMPOST.)

The reign of disorder will soon end and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication is promising hard times for unscrupulous private operators who resist the legal framework by not seeking authorisation. A plethora of operators involved in urban transport have found fertile ground in providing parcel and money transfer services without government authorisation.

Figures from the Department of Regulation and Control of Postal Activities speak of over 202 private operators in existence. Over 107 are engaged in mail dispatch, 85 in money transfer and 10 into mail and money transfer. Out of this number, only 62 files have been received for the issuance of attestations. Some 23 files are said to be recognisable, while 37 others are said to be incomplete. This therefore means that out of 202 postal service companies in Cameroon, only 23 are recognised, 37 are seeking legalization, while the remaining 140 are operating clandestinely.

On October 9, 2014, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean Pierre Biyiti bi Essam, handed over legalisation papers to officials of six private operators to add to existing ones. He also mentioned that the act was testimony of government’s willingness to bring order to the sector as it strives to remain effective and people-friendly. However, “I think our postal services have a brilliant future because they were recently reorganised. We have introduced ICTs and think that this modernisation will help the country’s postal services to stand market challenges, especially at the national, sub-regional and international levels,” he explained.

Going by the terms of reference of attestations issued to companies, the operators are tasked with scrupulously keeping the objects or money that is sent and received through them, ensuring neutrality in service delivery, respecting the secrecy of services delivered and facilitating collaboration with regulatory services, among others. Kalpele said they will begin by sensitising private operators on the need to abide by the laws without which repressive action will be taken against those operating illegally. The poor interpretation of regulatory texts has led others to think that money transfer is under the Central Africa Banking Commission. This hinders the regulation of the sector.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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