The Senate, on Tuesday, passed a bill to effectively restrict Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to only postal operations in the country.
The Nigerian Postal Service (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2021, also unbundled the agency by creating a commission to regulate its affairs.
The bill was passed following a clause-by-clause consideration of the reports by the Senate Committees on Communications, chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central).
NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had been at loggerheads over which of the government’s agency is constitutionally backed to collect stamp duty taxes in the country. Both are claiming ownership of stamp duty collection.
Section two of the bill barred NIPOST from engaging in tax collection.
It reads: “There is hereby established a body to be known as the Nigerian Postal Service (hereby designated as the Public Postal Operator).
“The Postal Operator shall be charged with the responsibility of providing Universal Postal Service in Nigeria.
“In carrying out its Universal Postal Service Obligations, the provisions of any enactment, law or regulation relating to the taxation of companies, agencies or trusts funds shall not apply to the Public Postal Operator save for its obligation as a collecting agent of Government.”
Giving a highlight of the NIPOST bill, Tinubu said clause 5(2) was inserted to specify the minimum qualifications for the appointment of the Postmaster-General.
During consideration of the report, the Senate amended sub-clause 3 to provide that, “the Minister may, with the approval of the President, at any time remove any member of the Board from office on the grounds of misconduct, conviction, infirmity or disease of the mind.”
The chamber also amended clause 5(1) to make the appointment of the Postmaster-General the exclusive prerogative of the President as against the recommendation of the Minister.
The amendments were made following a proposal to that effect by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) and seconded by the Deputy Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.