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Senate Threatens Privatisation of NIPOST for Optimal Performance

By Adedapo Adesanya 

The Nigerian Senate is looking at the possibility of initiating the privatisation of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) for optimal performance.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Mr Sani Musa, at an interactive session on the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) which had the Postmaster General of the Federation, Mrs Tola Odeyemi, appear to defend her agency’s 2024 -2026 input in the MTEF, FSP.

She was met with vitriol when she said her agency projected N18 billion as personnel cost for the 16,000 NIPOST workers across the country.

Mr Musa, who said the impact of NIPOST across the country was not being felt, rhetorically asked why it would increase its personnel cost by 38 per cent from N13 billion in 2023 to N18 billion in 2024.

The explanation of the Postmaster General that the increment was due to the recent increase in the federal government’s payment of peculiar allowance to workers did not appease members of the committee.

Reacting, a Senator from Abuja, Mrs Ireti Kingibe, said NIPOST as a partially funded agency needed to be a vibrant postal agency.

“NIPOST should not be scrapped but should be turned into a revenue-generating agency, the only thing is that the agency was stuck in the 19th-century analogue operation instead of migrating to digital service for efficient services.

“There is nothing stopping NIPOST from digitalising their offices across the country to offer electronic services for Nigerians, deliver government services at all local government areas and even engage in financial services.”

Mr Osita Izunaso, however, argued that NIPOST as it is currently structured, should not be encouraged, if the country was interested in generating revenue to fund its annual budgets.

Mr Musa consequently asked the NIPOST chief to forward to the committee details of her business plan to reposition the agency into a highly revenue-generating agency.

“NIPOST should have been fully privatised before now because nobody is feeling their impact anywhere in the country.

“We are ready to recommend to the Senate in plenary, full privatisation of the NIPOST except the Postmaster General convinces us otherwise.

“The CEO of NIPOST should forward to the secretariat of our committee details of her business model on how the agency would be generating adequate revenues for the country through creative ideas.

“Failure to do this would leave the Senate with no other option than to recommend the full privatisation of NIPOST,” Mr Musa said.

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