Postal Reform Bill, Other NIPOST Activities Suffer Setback
The inability of the federal government to appoint a substantive Postmaster General (PMG) of the federation, is slowing the pace of activities at the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigation has shown.
For instance, 12 years after its introduction to the Senate, the Nigerian Postal Services Act, 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2015 sponsored by Senator Gilbert Nnaji was first read at the Senate on October 22, 2015.
“Since then, the Bill recorded as SB 106 has been lying idle at the Senate for NIPOST management’s articulated plans to attract the Ministry of Communications’ interest to raise lobbyists to pursue the Bill”, a source at the NIPOST told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.
Aside that, the rumoured impending mass sack of workers at the Service has led to many developing cold-feet in discharging their activities, leading to a nosedive of the Services revenue and service delivery.
“When the news broke that a substantive PMG is likely going to come from outside the postal sector and the rumoured redeployment and sack of workers even without a substantive PMG, things have not been the same here. From the headquarters down to different outlets, the feelings are such that the Government is betraying the workers who have put in their youthful years to serve this country.
“Even the acting PMG appears hapless in addressing multifaceted management bottlenecks bedevilling the system, because the Ministry is battling with securing the budgetary allocation, and appears to be interested in working with only the substantive PMG, whom the Presidency is yet to approve. The harsh economic climate in the country is taking its toll on the system too. If you visit the Bulk post at Lafarge, the workshop, both in Lagos, you will see that mails are shrinking and businesses have not been the same. We have an existing partnership with Konga as pick-up points for purchased items, but how are the e-commerce site fairing? And other NIPOST ventures. There are a number of issues begging for attention here. I don’t think anybody is particularly focused on the Postal Bill at the moment”.
She added that most of the senior managers NIPOST have given up on the Postal Reform Bill, aligning themselves with the Minister’s approach to restructuring NIPOST for effectiveness in the contemporary society.
“You see, one of the reason given for the rumoured mass shakeup in NIPOST was insubordination, which implies that few senior staff will be posted to other departments, to ensure full control and loyalty to Mr. Richard Balami, the acting postmaster-general, but in the actually sense, the Acting PMG is not even sure of what will happen tomorrow. So, NIPOST as an institution is suffering presently and needs government’s attention.
Meanwhile, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications has been vocal on the Ministry’s determination for to go ahead with the restructuring programmes in NIPOST which have been in incubation for some time and include commercialisation and financial inclusion projects where NIPOST provide some banking services to rural dwellers in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
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