The Minister of Communications, Mr Abdur-Raheem Shittu, said the Federal Government planned to turn the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) into a mega conglomerate offering various services.
This is contained in a statement by the Head, Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in Abuja on Tuesday.
It reported that the minister said this while receiving the Acting Director-General of BPE, Mr Vincent Akpotaire , who was on a courtesy call.
“NIPOST would be offering services in e-Commerce, e-Learning/Library services and issuance of the Nigerian passport and driver’s licence plus other security documents,’’ the minister said.
Shittu said that the government was poised to constitute a technical committee to proffer solutions to the issues militating against the postal sector.
The group would also present a policy direction to harness the economic potentials of NIPOST.
The minister acknowledged the significance of reforms to the communication sector and the key role of BPE in sector reforms, saying that the bureau would be included in the committee.
He expressed optimism that an all inclusive participation of all stakeholders would steer NIPOST towards harnessing its commercial potentials.
Shittu urged the bureau to carry out research on the Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT) and come out with the best options to either commercialise or privatise the company. “This is based on revelations that it is under patronised and has only one signal.“
Responding, the DG of BPE, acknowledged the yet untapped potentials of NIPOST.
Akpotaire said that NIPOST, though in near disappearance, had sufficient assets to generate economic and commercial services.
According to him, in view of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy, NIPOST could begin skeletal services within the scope of the resources set aside by the CBN.
He noted that through the vast postal network available to NIPOST, it was equipped to deliver financial services to remote areas currently excluded by financial institutions.
To facilitate the process, Akpotaire said that the Bureau would present a comprehensive proposal to the minister within a week.
The DG said that the BPE would liaise with the National Assembly to harmonise the bureau’s proposed reforms with the privately sponsored bill on the postal sector before it.
He called for an independent regulator for the sector to update services and ensure transparency as well as position NIPOST to compete favourably with other concerns in the sector.