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Instead of new ICT Dev. Bank, upgrade NIPOST to do the job—Experts tell Minister

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Stakeholders in Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have advised the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu to work his talk on transforming the moribund Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) to a digitally integrated commercial bank and rest the idea of floating ICT Development Bank.

Many of the experts who spoke to Business Hilights on the issue said technology disruptions sweeping in Nigeria have changed the narrative of NIPOST and the best option for its renewed relevance will be to convert it to a bank.

According to Dr. Ken Igboanugo, “The best bet for the Minister will be to come up with an Executive Bill that will transform NIPOST to a commercial bank”.

“If this is done, I bet you, the bank in less than one year will become the most capitalised bank because its customer base will naturally boom considering the presence of the agency in every part of the country including communities.

“NIPOST is in every local government area and a number of communities have postal agencies. This is a gold mine waiting to be explored and somebody is thinking of another white elephant scheme that will fail like Peoples Bank.

Igboanugo noted that “Since GSM came with data, several letters that would have gone through Post offices are now electronic and Postal Orders are no more in vogue as a means of transaction”.

“I cannot remember when last I saw people buying JAMB or GCE forms with Postal Orders.

It would be recalled that the Minister had on Monday revealed that the Federal Government will soon establish ICT Bank to cater to the development of the Information and Communications Technology industry.

Shittu spoke at the 13th International Conference of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) in Abuja on Tuesday, saying the decision to establish an ICT development bank is to stop reduce the time it usually takes to develop ICT products and services from conception to the market.

The minister said the proposed bank was provided for in the ICT road map, which had been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) some weeks ago.