People often make this mistake of handing parcels or goods to a driver of an interstate bus to help them deliver to someone in another state.

I think this practise began at the time when logistics business was much undeveloped in Nigeria, that time when it was mostly NIPOST controlled (with their then very poor services including long delays) and when the (then few) other logistics and delivery companies were largely out of reach in terms of cost.

This very high risk transaction is hardly necessary these days as there have been much improvement in parcel and goods delivery in Nigeria, even if not perfect yet. There are many more companies involved now and transactions come cheaper especially with the competition. You can practically check around and get it cheaper. Even NIPOST is now doing a great job, forget how deplorable their offices look.

Imagine for a minute that your parcel or goods get lost or damaged. How do you trace it or make a claim, when you only handed it to a driver with little or no proof? Even if you have a proof how do you hold the company liable considering that you took the wrong (and illegal) route? Do you think the driver will be able to repay your loss if any?

Why do I say that kind of transaction is wrong? Such transactions are against most company’s rules. It would deprive the company of income, even while the driver loads the company’s vehicle with your parcel or goods. The company would even be right if they decide to seize your goods or bring an action against you for sabotaging their business.

The company is not liable for your lost goods. The fact that you believed a staff who encouraged you to act illegally doesn’t help your case. Yes I know of vicarious liability, but I argue that it would only apply when you aren’t already committing a wrong.

How do you get a valid document/receipt to prove your transaction if you drop your goods off with a driver? How do you track the document for ease of recovery if misplaced or lost but found? How do you even argue it that you encouraged and induced a driver to take your goods in a company vehicle without you paying the company?

I have always felt it doesn’t make sense when I see people dropping off luggage or letters with drivers for delivery. I mean, it doesn’t even come free. Yet in case of loss or any mishap you have no single proof and you will have a tough time if you decide to initiate a claim against the company.

Well, in any event and for whatever reason you decide to still take this route just remember that with the step you took your “Goods are at Owners Risk”

Jimmy Abia, Esq, Writes from Lagos, O8O37748268

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