By Nume Ekeghe
The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu has disclosed plan by the federal government to diversify revenue base of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST).
According to Shittu, the postal agency would soon diversify its operations into financial services, insurance, logistics real estate and e-Government services, in a bid to enhance its revenue.
The minister said this just as NIPOST launched its digital addressing system, which is expected to introduce special unique code for its customers.
Nigeria is the third to adopt this technology in Africa and the seventh in the world.
Speaking on the plans to diversify the NIPOST’s revenue, Shittu said: “We hope to establish a NIPOST banking and insurance company so that everyone in this country would be financially included in our economic or financial situation.
“We are also looking at establishing a NIPOST property and development company because in many postal facilities, you would see that NIPOST has extra land wasting away.
“It is our plan as part of the general reform to ensure that most of these lands which are currently vacant and unused are used to establish property development in general.
“We are also establishing the NIPOST transport and logistics company and to add to this, is the establishment of NIPOST e-Commerce services, which will carter for e-Governance particularly with the application and delivery of driver’s licences, vehicle documents and international passports.
“Also, we are looking at establishing a NIPOST e-government services company to process licence or passport from his or local post offices.”
Speaking further on the digital addressing system that was introduced, Shittu said, “Now we can have every inch of Nigeria soil delineated digitally. The post master would therefore have the apparatus to know exactly where you are.
“Going forward Nigerians would be taught how to address letters. Again, they would have numbers that would be attached to every area, and these numbers would not resemble each other.
“This would assist not only vehicle registration, passport, personal identity and even bank verification; every address would have a specific well-defined digital number which would make it traceable. “
“So, the whole purpose is to ensure Nigeria develops and we must have our own identity. So that is the effort government is making to ensure that correct addresses are part of the rights Nigerians have so if there is need for government to reach them it would be easy.”
On his part, the Postmaster General, NIPOST, Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, said the technology was developed wholly in Nigeria.
He described the digital addressing system as an ultra-specific system.
“Addressing system is a worldwide problem and 65 per cent of the world is affected by that challenge. So, we are leveraging on advancing and evolving technologies to provide this state of the art addressing system.
“The way it works is that we have used open location code to divide Nigeria into 333 by 3 meters grid and each grid having its own digital address consisting of the state, local government and the district.
“We are also digitalising the postcode. Before I became the Postmaster General of Nigeria, the manual postcode we have just covered 30 per cent of Nigeria.
“With the deployment of this technology, we have been able to cover all over Nigeria and this code is digitalised,” he added.