Buhari approves partial commercialisation of NIPOST
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the partial commercialisation of Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST).
Communication Minister, Mr Adebayo Shittuhile who spoke inaugurating the Steering Committee (ST) and the Project Delivery Team (PTD) for the Postal Sector Reforms and the Restructuring /Modernisation of NIPOST, said the partial commercialisation was in line with the Second Schedule Part 1 Section 6 of the Public Enterprises Privatisation and Commercialisation Act 1999. He added that some of its services would still reflect policies and economic intervention from government.
Shittu said: “I am aware that the National Assembly was about to pass a bill on the Nigerian Postal Commission, which set out to establish a regulator for the nation’s postal sector.
“In this regard, government wishes to separate what hitherto had been the dual function of NIPOST as a regulator and operator at the same.
“When passed into law, NIPOST will concentrate on its function as an operator in Nigeria’ postal system in addition to the new institution we are trying to create.
“Hence the need for reforms so that it can make its pitch for a share of the now deregulated postal market.’’
According to the minister, when the committee completes its assignment, this administration would have succeeded in causing a systematic change in postal service delivery in the country.
“This is in line with the Universal Postal Service Obligations of the United Nation which Nigeria is a signatory,’’ he added.
Shittu noted that it was the desire of the Federal Government to transform NIPOST into a strong corporate brand and solid commercial enterprise that could compete in the postal market
“Our aim is to implement the restructuring and modernisation of NIPOST in a manner that is consistent with relevant national policies, laws and international best practices.
“It is also to make NIPOST to effectively run in the post restructuring and modernisation era by introducing commercial viability and customer attractiveness to its operations, while still discharging the social services expected of a government agency.
“The aim is to introduce a regulator, the Nigerian Postal Commission that will ensure professional, efficient and effective postal services in the country,’’ he said.
Shittu said that the members of the committee had been carefully selected based on competence and professionalism.
“I, therefore, urge members of the committee to consider this as a critical national assignment that required unflinching commitment and zeal.’’
Also speaking, Mr Alex Okoh, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said that the National Council on Privatisation approved the setting up of the committees on Oct, 31.
Okoh said that the committee was set up to drive the postal sector reforms, restructuring and modernisation.
He said with the approval, the Bureau realised that it had been saddled with a great task that must be delivered with optimal results, adding “it should therefore not relent in the effective and efficient delivery expected of it.
“And this also, I must say ought to be the attitude members of the committees should bring to this assignment.
Okoh said to help carry out the assignment, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) had also appointed a Project Delivery Team (PTD) comprising high-level technocrats and professionals.
According to him, the PTD is expected to act as the creative engine room to process documents for the ease of reference for the steering committee.
Earlier, the Post Master-General of the Federation, Mr Adebisi Adegbuyi, reiterated his commitment to the reforms.
Adegbuyi, represented by the Director of Human Resources of NIPOST, Mr Bashir Mamudu appreciated the efforts of the Minister of Communications to transform NIPOST.
Shittu is the chairman of the Steering Committee, while the director-general of BPE, and post master-general of NIPOST are members.
Other members include representatives from the office of the Vice President, Ministries of Finance, and Justice, Labour Unions, while Alhaji Aliyu Maigari of BPE will serve as secretary.
The PDT also has Maigari as chairman, while Mr Chuks Nwosu from BPE will serve as secretary.