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Shittu seeks faster passage of bill to enable unbundling of NIPOST
The Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu has called on the National Assembly to expedite action in passing the Postal Reform Bill designed to drive the restructuring of the nation’s postal flagship, the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
The new bill aims to unbundle the hitherto moribund federal agency so as to operate on a commercially driven orientation including strategic banking services.
Before now, there had been unconfirmed allegations that commercial banks are behind the frustrations faced by the bill at the national assembly as they fear chances of the new Post Bank of Nigeria (PBN) soaking away their customers considering the leverage it will have, being in every local government of the country.
Speaking during the launching of two documents; Restructuring and Modernising Nigerian Postal Service and NIPOST Vision 2020 and inaugurating a steering committee for NIPOST reformation in his office, Shittu said “the reform will unbundle NPOST to profit –driven subsidiaries such as; NIPOST Digital Financial Services Limited (PostBank); NIPOST Property &Development Company Limited; NIPOST Transport and Logistics Limited; NIPOST Merchandizing Limited (e-Commerce); and NIPOST General Services Support Limited (e-Government)”.
The Post Master General and Chief Executive Officer of NIPOST, Mr. Bisi Adegbuyi in his remark commended the present administration for its determination to drive the reformation process to a logical conclusion and particularly the minister for his concerted efforts to change the trajectory of NIPOST, adding that the management of NIPOST has in the interim took a step at tinkering with reformation through certain restructuring steps taken so far.
Adegbuyi noted that “It is in this spirit, therefore, that the new management of Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) crafted this four- year strategic plan (NIPOST Vision 2020, from 2017 -2020) to guide the implementation. In considering the contents of the various documents, however, it is obvious that there are programmes that can be implemented in the short term in accordance with government policy, while others can only be implemented in the long-run after the passage of the Postal Sector Reform Bill into law”.
After launching the two documents, the minister inaugurated a steering committee that will lay the foundation for the reformation process with the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Arc Sonny Echono as chairman, the Post Mast General and Chief Executive Officer of NIPOST, Adegbuyi as vice-chairman and the Special Adviser, Digital Resources, to the Minister, Mr. Akeem Yusuf as secretary.
Others include two members each from the ministry (Directors of ICT and Telecoms & Postal Services) and NIPOST; one representative each from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bureau of Public Enterprises and Special Assistant, NPOST, to the Honorable Minister.
The committee chairman, Echono promised that members of the committee will give the assignment all necessary attention and seriousness it deserves and deliver on the mandate of its task in due time.