Minister Seeks Expeditious Passage of NIPOST Reform Bill


Emma Okonji

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has called on the National Assembly to expedite action in deliberating and passing the Postal Reform Bill and other related bills pending before the legislators, aimed at restructuring the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

The minister made the call at the launch of two documents – Restructuring and Modernising Nigerian Postal Service and NIPOST Vision 2020, in Abuja recently. He also used the occasion to inaugurate a steering committee for NIPOST reformation.

Shittu said the present administration needed the collaboration and synergy of the National Assembly to deliver on its campaign promises to Nigerians by expediting actions on bills targeted at social reformation of the Nigerian society, one of which is the services provided by NIPOST.

He charged the lawmakers to give the bill serious attention, saying, “we will appreciate that the bill is considered expeditiously important to the socio-economic policy thrust of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.”
The minister stated further that the Bill seeks the amendment of all the existing postal services laws to give effect to the recommendations of the NethPost Consultancy of The Netherlands and all other interest groups that worked with the ministry, NIPOST and other stakeholders in the postal services.

According to him, though NIPOST reformation was not part of the APC campaign promises, but 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.

The objectives of the postal sector reform plan, he said, were 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 space 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 mobilisation and payment/ funds transfer system for the entire country through the postal network.

To operate on a commercial driven orientation, Shittu said the reform would 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 Merchandising Limited (e-Commerce); and NIPOST General Services Support Limited (e-Government).

The Post Master General and Chief Executive Officer of NIPOST, Bisi Adegbuyi, commended the present administration for its determination to drive the reform process to a logical conclusion. He also commended the minister for his efforts to change the trajectory of NIPOST, adding that the management of NIPOST has in the interim took a step at tinkering with reformation through certain restructuring steps taken so far.

“It is in this spirit, therefore, that the new management of NIPOST crafted this four- year strategic plan (NIPOST Vision 2020, from 2017 -2020) to guide the implementation. In considering the contents of the various documents, however, it is obvious that there are programmes that can be implemented in the short term in accordance with government policy, while others can only be implemented in the long-run after the passage of the Postal Sector Reform Bill into law”, Adegbuyi said.