The federal government has given reasons it would officially launch the postal reform early next month (May) in the country.
These reasons were disclosed by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, on Monday during a three-day event organised by the Nigeria Postal Service (Nipost), held n Lagos.
Tagged “Express Mail Service: Symposium on growth management of Africa region and workshop on operational performance and quality improvement.”
Shittu said that it was necessary and imperative to return the lost glory of Nipost and commercialise it.
“Before this government came in, the post was almost comatose and forgotten by most Nigerians, particularly when GSM came on board and they felt there was no need for Nipost; but when we came in, we saw Nipost as a sleeping giant that could be transformed for greater and positive impact that can translate to national growth.
We want to commercialise all the services that could make it competitive with the private sector, again, we are looking at other directions. Nipost has over 1,500 outlets across the country,” the minister said.
Shittu also disclosed that over 50 per cent of the population in rural area has been unwittingly excluded from financial services.
“Let’s look at the commercial angle, banking services are not available in major rural areas and we felt that one of the things that we can do is to introduce Nipost banking services. This is available in a lot of countries and people are enjoying this particular service. Again, we are looking at embarking on e-government through Nipost, like applying and renewal of international passport.
“E-commerce is also taking over and we intend to leverage on that in order to generate more revenue for Nipost. We are also looking at transport and logistics services for easy access and guaranteed security.
“Meanwhile, we intend to lease some Nipost landed properties through commercialisation because so many are lying fallow particular in major centres. And I am sure that, by the time we complete this reform, this administration would have been given applause for its foresight in transforming Nipost,” he said.
In his welcome address, Postmaster-General, Adebisi Adegbuyi, disclosed that Nipost had generated over N2 billion to government coffers, which was a plus to the organisation.
He also explained that most postal administration’s in sub-Saharan Africa with the exception of Morocco, Kenya, Tunisia and South Africa, were bedeviled with similar plights of huge potentials but bogged by bureaucratic bottlenecks and limited capacities for experimenting with trending and thriving business models that have stood the test of time in other climes.
“We have taken up the gauntlet to build a brand that is reliable and respectable, a modern organisation that can be trusted. We have made tremendous improvement in quality of service, which has translated to increase in traffic and revenue profile. We have also sought collaborations with experienced partners in the business on a wide range of aspects of postal operations that would further our cause on the journey to postal prosperity,” Adegbuyi said.
He added that Nipost would be leveraging on the exponential growth in e-commerce, which offers a plethora of opportunities, for greater business collaboration with medium and small-scale entrepreneurs as this would improve Nipost’srevenue, create jobs and stimulate the economy.
Encouraged by global growth, director-general of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) international bureau, Mr. Bishar Hussein, quoted the Ali Research Traffic of international packages that the global business to consumer (B2C) cross-border e-commerce market is expected to generate $120 trillion by 2020 from $230 billion in 2014.
“There would be an increase in the form of online overseas shopping with an annual growth rate of over 27 per cent over the next five years. By 2020, at the end of the UPU’s next four-year business cycle, more than 900 million people around the world will be international online shoppers, thereby generating more income and businesses with their purchases accounting for nearly 30 per cent of all global transactions. This e-commerce boom is generating more business for posts as they deliver purchases made online, especially for the B2C market,” he said.
Represented by manager EMS unit, UPU, Ms Jane Dyer, Hussein added that in online shopping income would continue to rise and tech-savvy individuals and the growing proliferation of technical infrastructure would be required to ensure increased Internet penetration.
“In addition, small and medium-sized businesses will continue to drive growth, particularly for intra-regional trade.”
Also speaking, secretary-general of the Pan-African Postal Union (PANU), Mr, Younouss Djibrine, noted that the workshop was being held at a time when there was need for the postal sector to become more modernised, competitive, diversified and responsive to customer needs and build the necessary capacity for employees.
Said he: “As we are at the beginning of the cycle, we need to seriously reflect on our successes and challenges during the period 2013-2016, in order to effectively plan for the current cycl e(2017-2020).”