By Ndubuisi Francis
The ongoing reform of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) is not privatisation of the entity but to unbundle it into three viable subsidiary companies, which will operate on the principle of commercial viability, while the core postal service function will remain with the parent company, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh, has clarified.
Inaugurating the sub-committee of the implementation committee for the postal sector reform, restructuring and modernisation of NIPOST at the Bureau’s corporate head office in Abuja Wednesday, Okoh identified the three commercial ventures to be carved out of the agency as NIPOST Properties & Development Company, NIPOST Transport & Logistics Company and NIPOST Microfinance Bank Limited.
The clarification, he stated, became necessary to disabuse the minds of many Nigerians especially NIPOST’s workforce that the commercialisation, reform and modernisation of the organisation was outright privatisation.
Okoh said that in line with the reform process, the Bureau had completed the registration of NIPOST Properties & Development Company and NIPOST Transport & Logistics Company at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), while the process for registration at CAC and also that of obtaining regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for NIPOST Microfinance Bank had also commenced.
He reiterated that the benefits of the reform of the sector include the provision of efficient postal services and utilisation of vast assets of NIPOST across the country; reduction in funding from the treasury in terms of subventions to the tune of N7.2 billion; and the operation and growth of ancillary services and business to enhance the overall efficiency of NIPOST to create more jobs.
A statement issued by BPE’s Head, Public Communications, Amina Tukur Othman, quoted Okoh as saying that the sub-committee to be chaired by the Director, Industries & Communication of BPE, will include representatives of the Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, Ministry of Finance Incorporated and NIPOST.
The sub-committee will be responsible for carrying out the following activities:
*Creation and adoption of an implementation plan and charting the course for implementation of KPMG’s final report;
*Initiate strategies to be adopted in the implementation of the NIPOST reform programme and the establishment of the three companies;
*Implement the approved objectives of the NIPOST reform programme; and make recommendations to the implementation committee.
The committee has a timeline of four months to complete its assignment.
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP), at its meeting in October 2017, approved the reform of the postal sector and the restructuring and modernisation of NIPOST.
The Council also approved the constitution of a steering committee to be chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, to drive the reform process and review the Postal Sector Policy; the constitution of a Project Delivery Team (PDT) to serve as the secretariat of the steering committee and to develop quick fix reform strategies to make NIPOST commercially viable as well as the appointment of KPMG as Transaction Adviser.