The Federal Government plans to turn the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) into a mega conglomerate offering services in E-Commerce, E-Learning/Library Services and issuance of the Nigerian Passport and Drivers License among other security documents, the Minister of Communications, Mr. Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu has disclosed.
Receiving the Acting Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja , the Minister said that to achieve the objective, the government was planning to constitute a technical committee to proffer solutions to the issues militating against the Nigerian Postal Sector and present a policy direction to harness the economic potentials of NIPOST.
While acknowledging the significance of reforms for the communication sector and the key role of BPE in sector reforms, Shittu said the Bureau would be included on the committee. He expressed optimism that an all inclusive participation of all stakeholders would steer NIPOST towards the desired direction to harness its commercial potentials.
On the Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), the Minister asked the Bureau to carry out a research and come out with the best option to either commercialise or privatise the company as findings have revealed that it was under patronised because it has only one signal.
In his response, the Acting Director General of the BPE, Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire acknowledged the yet untapped potentials of NIPOST. He said that NIPOST, though in a state of comatose, had sufficient assets to generate economic and commercial services.
He said that in view of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) National Financial Inclusion Strategy, NIPOST could kick off skeletal services within the scope of the resources set aside by the CBN and that through the vast postal network available to NIPOST; it is equipped to deliver financial services to remote areas currently excluded by financial institutions.
To facilitate the process, Akpotaire said that the Bureau would present a comprehensive proposal that would serve as a platform to drive the required sector reforms to the Minister within a week.
Concurring with the Minister on the need for all stakeholders to work in synergy, the BPE boss said that the Bureau would liaise with the National Assembly (NASS) to harmonise the Bureau’s proposed reforms with the privately sponsored bill on the postal sector before the NASS.
The DG called for an independent regulator in the sector to help broaden the scope and depth of services provided and to ensure transparency as well as position NIPOST to compete favourably with other establishments in the sector.
Akpotaire added that the vast postal network throughout the country is a significant competitive advantage for NIPOST.