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Senate mulls NIPOST privatisation, queries N18bn personnel cost

The joint Senate Committee scrutinising the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) said it is considering a legislation to fully…

The joint Senate Committee scrutinising the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) said it is considering a legislation to fully privatise the Nigeria Postal Service for optimal performance.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance who also chaired the MTEF-FSP joint panel, Senator Sani Musa, stated this when the Postmaster General of the Federation, Tola Odeyemi appeared before the joint panel to defend her agency’s 2024 proposal.

Odeyemi had told the senators that her agency projected N18bn as personnel cost for the NIPOST’s 16, 000 workers across the country.

Musa wondered why the NIPOST whose presence cannot be felt anywhere in the country could increase its personnel cost from N13bn in 2023 to N18bn for 2024.

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A member of the joint panel, Senator Ireti Kingibe attempted to defend the continued existence of NIPOST as a partially funded agency of the federal government claiming that every nation deserves their own vibrant postal agency.

She said, “NIPOST should not be scrapped but should be turned to a revenue generating agency.

“There is nothing stopping NIPOST to digitalise their offices across the country to offer electronic services for Nigerians, deliver government services at all local government areas and even engage in financial services.”

Senator Osita Izunaso disagreed, saying NIPOST as it is currently structured should not be encouraged if the country was interested in generating revenues to fund its annual budgets.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said lack of patronage for its auctioned frequencies was responsible for the failure to meet its 2023 revenue target.

NCC Director of Financial Services, Yakubu Gontor stated this when he appeared before the committee.

Gontor said as at September, the commission had earned N199.8 billion out of its N387.4 billion revenue projection for 2023.

He explained that two frequencies, 600 megahertz (MHz) and 35 megahertz (MHz), were made available for auction but there was no patronage for none of them.

He said this significantly affected the revenue generation of the commission in 2023.

Gontor said, “Our revenue projection from spectrum fee was N387.4 billion. But we ended up earning N199.8 billion as at September 2023, which is a significant difference from the projected revenue.

“We hope to earn more between now and December, but we may not be able to meet budgetary projections.”


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