Barrister Adebayo Shittu, the minister of Communications, on Monday called on the National Assembly to expedite action in deliberating and subsequently passing the Postal Reform Bill and other related bills pending before the legislators aiming at restructuring the nation’s postal flagship, the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
Barr. Shittu made this urgent call while launching two documents; Restructuring and Modernising Nigerian Postal Service and NIPOST Vision 2020 and inaugurating a steering committee for NIPOST reformation in his office Monday evening.
He said the present administration need the collaboration and synergy of the National Assembly to deliver on its campaign promises to Nigerians by expediting actions on bills targeted at social reformation of the Nigerian society, one of which is the services provided by NIPOST.
The minister charged the lawmakers upon resumption from their current recess to give the bill serious attention, saying, “We will appreciate that the bill is considered expeditiously important to the socio-economic policy thrust of the Muhammadu Buhari administration”.
He stated further that the Bill seek the amendment of all the existing postal services laws to give effect to the recommendations of the NethPost Consultancy of The Netherlands and all other interest groups that worked with the Ministry, NIPOST and other stakeholders in the postal services.
According to him, though NIPOST reformation was not part of the APC campaign promises, but he initiated moves to reposition NIPOST, one of the oldest public institutions to be widely accepted in terms of efficient and effective postal services delivery, to be socially relevant, economically viable and internationally acceptable.
Objectives of the Postal Sector Reform Plan, he said, is premised on; establishing a low cost universal postal service that provides a solid communication medium and link nationwide; providing a safe and efficient postal service that is sustainable and keep space with developments in the rest of the world; introducing private sector participation and the development of the postal service into a commercially viable entrepreneurial conglomerate and creating a convenient means of savings mobilization and payment/ funds transfer system for the entire country through the postal network.
To operate on a commercial driven orientation, 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).
Barr. Bisi Adegbuyi, the postmaster general and chief executive officer of NIPOST, in his remark commended the present administration for its determination to drive the reformation process to a logical conclusion and particularly Barr. Shittu 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.
“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”, he said.
After launching the two documents, the minister inaugurated a steering committee that will lay the foundation for the reformation process with Arc Sonny Echono, the permanent Secretary in the ministry, as chairman, the Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of NIPOST, 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, Arc. 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.