The ongoing restructuring of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) will further see the entity giving birth to five new companies in line with plans to buttress it as a capital generating arm of the Ministry of Communications.
Speaking at the Official Launch and Sensitisation of the Nigeria Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Road Map 2017-2020 in Lagos, the Minister of Communications, Dr. Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu noted that the five new companies are billed to start operations before the end of the year.
According to the Minister, the establishment of the five new companies under the NIPOST will further generate employment and business, and also reposition NIPOST to enable it to provide cost-effective 21st Century services.
The proposed companies will come under Banking and Assurance; Property Development; Logistic Services; e-Government services and e-Commerce services.
Dr. Shittu reiterated that after the repositioning, NIPOST will become a viable commercial entity that will not only serve the needs of the people but also generate needed income.
While waiting for the reformed Postal Bill, the Minister noted that the Ministry will continue to work under the ambit of the provisions of the old Postal Act.
The Minister had, at the inaugurating a steering committee for NIPOST reformation, explained that he initiated moves to reposition NIPOST, one of the oldest public institutions to be widely accepted in terms of efficient and effective postal services delivery, to be socially relevant, economically viable and internationally acceptable.
Objectives of the Postal Sector Reform Plan, he said, is premised on; establishing a low cost universal postal service that provides a solid communication medium and link nationwide; providing a safe and efficient postal service that is sustainable and keep pace with developments in the rest of the world; introducing private sector participation and the development of the postal service into a commercially viable entrepreneurial conglomerate and creating a convenient means of savings mobilization and payment/ funds transfer system for the entire country through the postal network.
To operate on a commercial driven orientation, Dr. Shittu said the reform will unbundle NPOST to profit-driven subsidiaries such as; NIPOST Digital Financial Services Limited (Postbank); NIPOST Property & Development Company Limited; NIPOST Transport and Logistics Limited; NIPOST Merchandizing Limited (e-Commerce); and NIPOST General Services Support Limited (e-Government).
NIPOST currently has the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) International Money Transfer Operator License which allows it to play in the remittances ecosystem, where the World Bank reported that in 2017, Nigerian migrant workers in diaspora remitted a $22 billion to Nigeria mostly through foreign remittance companies.
In an interview with eBusiness Life, the CEO and Post Master General of NIPOST, Mr. Bisi Adegbuyi had noted that with the passage of the Postal Reform Bill, the federal government may likely reduce its subventions to NIPOST, which will necessitate the entity to find means of generating funds for sustainability and profitability.
The set plans by the Ministry of Communications, under the Nigeria ICT Road Map, is therefore in line with repositioning the NIPOST to generate jobs, capacity Building, wealth creation and revenue generation.
According to the Director, ICT at NIPOST, Engr. Thomas Gaga, with about 70 percent of the active population of Nigerians comprising of youths, NIPOST has targeted them in the Digital Addressing System (DAS) initiative that will soon take off. The Digital Addressing System encompasses States, Local Governments, Post Code and unique identifier – three or four numbers.
He said NIPOST is currently discussing with the NCC, the CBN on behalf of banks to partner on the initiative.