The Federal Government of Nigeria has created three commercial ventures from the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) even as it said National Postal Commission (NPC) will be established soon to regulate the courier industry, including NIPOST.
The three new subsidiaries, which were carved out in the ongoing reform of the country’s main postal agency are: NIPOST Properties & Development Company; NIPOST Transport & Logistics Company and NIPOST Microfinance.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja when he received some labour leaders in his office.
He said the BPE had completed the registration of NIPOST Properties & Development Company and NIPOST Transport & Logistics Company at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The Director General added that the process for registration at CAC and also that of obtaining regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for NIPOST Microfinance had also commenced.
No job loss
He said the on-going reform of the NIPOST would not attract job losses or retrenchment but would rather create more jobs in the new subsidiaries that will emerge after the reform.
Receiving the leadership of the National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE) led by its President, Rev. Nehemiah G. Buba, who paid him a courtesy visit, Okoh said NIPOST, after the reform, would still remain 100 percent an entity of the federal government as the reform only aims at commercializing its services and making it robust to deliver more efficient postal services.
The Director General reiterated that the benefits of the reform of the sector include the provision of efficient postal services and utilisation of vast assets of NIPOST across the country; reduction in funding from the treasury in terms of subventions to NIPOST and the operation and growth of ancillary services and business to enhance the overall efficiency of NIPOST to create more jobs.
He said in order to sensitize all the relevant stakeholders on the need for the reform, the Bureau in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Communication & Digital Economy and NIPOST held zonal workshops in five of the six geo-political zone of the country, except the North-Central Zone which was to be held in Abuja but for the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Emergence of a regulator
The Director General announced that the reform of the postal sector would lead to the emergence of Nigerian Postal Commission (NPC) as a regulator of the sector to ensure efficiency, service delivery and check abuses.
He said during a tour of some of the countries that have effectively reformed their postal services and are reaping good dividends, it was discovered that in China for instance, its Postal Bank has over 80 million customers because of its rural penetration.
He said given that most rural communities in Nigeria do not have access to banking facilities, the emergence of NIPOST Microfinance Bank would be beneficial to the communities.
On the request by the union leaders for the bureau to intervene in the impasse between NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on which of the organisations is statutorily required to collect stamp duties in the country, Okoh assured them that the bureau was already interfacing in the matter and that soon, an amicable solution would be reached.
The President of NUPTE, Buba, commended the federal government for initiating the reform which is now a reality.
He expressed delight over the visit as some of the issues pertaining to the reform, which were hitherto not known to the workers, have been laid bare by the bureau.
It would be recalled that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), at its meeting held on 31st October, 2017, approved the reform of the Postal Sector and the restructuring and modernisation of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST).