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Indication has emerged that the federal Government is set to give banking licence to the moribund NIPOST as a way of returning the federal agency to relevance after innovative telecoms services have pushed it out of service.
Experts say, NIPOST is one of the highest causalities of GSM revolution disruptions in Nigeria and even other parts of the world.
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said the ministry has submitted a proposal to President Muhammadu Buhari for the establishment of the NIPOST Bank to serve the interest of people in the rural areas.
He said over 1,500 postal agencies across the country would serve as banking halls in the proposed NIPOST Bank.
The minister, who spoke in Ibadan, said the ongoing reform of the Nigerian Postal Services would require legislative intervention to reposition the agency to meet the 21st century standard.
He said the reform would expand the mandate of NIPOST.
He said, “I have submitted this to the President who has mandated the Attorney General of the Federation to look into it. We may have to wait for the amendment of the Postal Service Bill.
“But if the AGF feels we can go ahead without the legislature’s permission, we will go on and expand the service. I hope that before the end of this year, we will be able to implement some of the visions.”
“We are thinking of establishing a bank that will have branches in all the 1,500 agencies across Nigeria. Right now, banks are not in half of the council areas of Nigeria. They are only concentrated in centres of the cities with high commercial activities. A lot of people living in the rural areas are excluded from the financial services that banks offer.
“We want to use the postal agencies as banking hall also, where financial transactions can be done so that people in the city can transfer money to their loved ones in the rural areas using the postal agencies.”
The minister said that people in the rural areas would be able to save money in the bank created by the vision and pay for goods bought from the cities, noting that jobs would be created in the process.