FG Inaugurates NIPOST Reform Committee

NIPOST posting agenciesThe Federal Government has inaugurated a steering committee to lay the foundation for the reform of Nigerian Postal Service.

The committee will be expected to restructure and modernise the Nigerian Postal Service and realise the NIPOST vision 2020, aimed at repositioning the postal and courier system.

A bill seeking the amendment of the postal services law has also been sent to the national assembly.

The steering committee is chaired by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Mr. Sonny Echono with members including the post master general, Mr. Bisi Adegbuyi and a Special Adviser in the Communications Ministry, Mr. Akeem Yusuf.

NIPOST Submits New Bill For Amendment Of Stamp Duty Act

NIPOST posting agenciesThe Nigerian postal service has submitted a new bill for the amendment of the stamp duty act, 2004 to the National Assembly.

The bill is aimed at modifying certain ambiguities in the act and legalising all collections through commercial banks from January 2017.

NIPOST says the amendment follows the ruling of a Lagos appeal court, nullifying stamp duty on electronic transfers.

Commercial banks had commenced the deduction of 50 Naira on electronic transfers following a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), directive issued in January.

NIPOST Set To Fend Off Competition From Rival Agencies

NIPOST posting agenciesThe Post-Master General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, says plans are underway to upgrade services in a bid to fend off competition from rival postal agencies.

In an interview with Channels Television during a tour of facility at the Edo Territory Headquarters in Benin City, south-south Nigeria, Mr Adegbuyi expressed confidence in the ability of NIPOST to turn around its dwindling fortunes with the right manpower training.

The NIPOST boss also remained positive, in spite of the poor state of infrastructure in many of the agency’s establishments he visited.

He was received in the state by the Area Manager NIPOST, Edo Territory, Adebola Ayeni, who took him on a tour of the various departments.

“My vision for NIPOST (is to) think out of the box (and) do the unusual, ensure that you plug leakages, reduce wastage, improve capacities and efficiency so that you can grow revenue.

“Once you do that, then there can be complete turnaround.

“I hope and I believe that I will succeed in getting the staff to know that there is a new sheriff in town,” Adegbuyi said.

The Post-Master General further reaffirmed the commitment of NIPOST to efficient service delivery since establishment in 1987.

“We have a universal organisation, universal postal union; it’s a global family, very strong and important agency of the United Nations organisation.

“They are our technical partners, whatever happens in any part of the world in the postal family reverberates.

“So what internet has taken away from us it has given us triple that via exponential growing e-commerce industry and none of our competitors has our reach,” he stated.

NIPOST Plans To Offer Banking Services

nipostThe Nigeria Postal Services, (NIPOST) may start offering banking services if the proposal of the Communications Minister, Mr Adebayo Shittu to President Muhammadu Buhari is approved.

The Minister has revealed that the President’s approval is being sought to establish a NIPOST bank, positioned to serve millions of Nigerians in the rural areas.

If President Buhari agrees, the new NIPOST bank may become Nigeria’s largest bank by branch network with 1,500 postal agencies across the country serving as financial services outposts.

The Minister said that President Buhari has asked the Attorney-General to look into the proposal to set up NIPOST bank, similar to the Japan’s Postbank, offering people-based financial services like bureau de change alongside postal services.

Low Awareness Mars No Banking Day

No Banking DayDespite the declaration of a No Banking Day in protest of stifling bank charges against bank customers, normal bank operations were observed in many parts of Nigeria.

In Ibadan, the Oyo State’s capital, customers were seen going in and out of banks for various transactions oblivion of any directive to the contrary.

It appeared enough awareness was not created among bank customers to drive home the message.

Those who spoke to Channels Television, however, admitted that indeed, some of the banking rules on charges needed to be addressed.

Residents of Owerri, the capital of Imo State, also seemed not to have a knowledge of the purported protest.

Many residents were seen trooping in to their various banks on Tuesday morning to carry out their financial transactions as usual, while some were seen using the ATM.

Most of them said that they were not aware of the No Banking Day.

While many customers who spoke to Channels Television disclosed that they did not have knowledge of the said protest, they also totally condemned the actions by the banks.

They believe the new banking rules on charges would increase the hardship faced by Nigerians, owing to the current economic challenges facing Nigeria.

Reports from Akwa Ibom and Benue States also showed that many bank customers were not aware of the No Banking Day and the planned boycott was ineffective.

In Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city, some banks’ customers were apprehensive about the declaration, with many of them thronging the banks to make withdrawals.

Some said they thought some banks would not offer services, as it was a No Banking Day.

No Banking Day Ineffective In Akwa Ibom, Benue

no bankingThe ‘No Banking’ directive declared on Tuesday to protest against the numerous excessive bank charges on customers was not effective in Akwa Ibom State as the state witnessed normal banking activities.

Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital witnessed uninterrupted banking activities, including ATM services.

Everyone who spoke to Channels Television in Uyo said that they were not aware of the no banking directive.

They, however, condemned the excessive charges but advised the advocacy foundation to consider the option of influencing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to check the banks’ excesses, noting that the ‘No Banking’ option cannot work as people cannot survive without their money.

They were of the opinion that only CBN can effectively protect the customers against exploitation by the banks.

Commercial activities were also seen going on smoothly in all the banks located in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

Bank staff and customers at some of the new generation banks, turned up for their usual financial transactions with most of them claiming to be unaware of the directive to shun all bank related activities.

A Bank Manager who spoke with Channels Television said that his branch was unaware of plans to shun banking activities. He also pointed out the peaceful working and business environment across the state capital.

The Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria and the coalition of Nigerian consumer protection associations had declared today, March 1, 2016 “No Banking Day”.

The two bodies are asking bank customers across the country not to enter banking halls, make transfers, deposits or make use of their cards for any transaction throughout the day.

According to them, the banking boycott is to protest the charges introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

 

 

March 1 Declared No Banking Day

bankingThe Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria and the coalition of Nigerian consumer protection associations have declared today March 1, 2016 ”No Banking Day”.

The two bodies are asking bank customers across the country not to enter banking halls, make transfers, deposits or make use of their cards for any transaction throughout the day.

According to them, the banking boycott is to protest the charges introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

They are also protesting against the fact that depositors are said to be exposed to many hidden and arbitrary charges.

This is coming weeks after the Central Bank of Nigeria imposed 50 naira on customers as compulsory stamp duty on deposits of 1,000 naira and above.

The regulator explains that the charge is collected on behalf of NIPOST and the federal government and it goes to the federation account.

Oronsaye Report: FG To Scrap NAPEP, Merge NAMA, NCAA, NIMET

Jonathan and OronsayeThe Federal Government has released the white paper on the report of the presidential committee on restructuring and rationalization of Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies, rejecting most of the recommendations in the Steve Oronsaye report.

In the document released by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Federal Government rejected the recommendation to merge NTA, FRCN and VON.

It also rejected the recommendation to abolish the Federal Character Commission; privatization of FAAN; scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs, and re-introduction of tuition fees in federal universities, among others.

The accepted recommendations include: scrapping of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission; repealing of the national salaries, income and wages commission law; scrapping of the National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP; merger of Nigeria Airways Management Authority (NAMA), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET); and partial commercialization of NIPOST.

NIPOST Stripped Of Regulatory Function

The National Council on Privatisation has approved a reform bill that will strip Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) of all its regulatory function.

Briefing state house correspondents after the council meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of Communications Technology, Omotola Johnson said that the key factor in the bill is that NIPOST should concentrate on its operational functions in the transformation agenda and help to contribute to the gross domestic product.

Also the national council on privatisation also declared that all the power plants in the country now have core investors.

The latest sale is the Egbin Power Plant which has been sold to a Korean company called Capeco at the cost of $407.3 million.

Oando Extends Right Issue Due To NIPOST Strike

Oando Nigeria PLC has extended its right issues till February 20th.

The company said the extension is as a result of the industrial action at the offices of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) which caused an outright closure of NIPOST’s offices nationwide, thus making it difficult for circulars to be dispatched to most of its shareholders.

According to the company, the extension has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The right issue of N4.5 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N12.00 per share opened on Friday December 28, 2012 but will now close on Wednesday, February 20.

Witness tells court how El-Rufai allocated land to himself, family and companies

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday told an Abuja High Court that a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai and two of his officials unilaterally revoked some juicy plots of land and allocated same to themselves, their relatives and their companies.

Sunday Idowu, a former operative of the EFCC made the disclosure while being led in evidence by the commission’s lawyer, Adebayo Adelodun, in continuation of trial of the former minister who is facing an eight-count of abuse of office.

The two other accused persons are the Director General, Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS), Atine Jubrin and former General Manager, AGIS Ismail Iro.

Mr Idowu, an Inspector of Police gave detailed steps taken by his investigative team in unravelling facts behind the accusations against the accused persons.

“We interacted with interested parties notably Abuja Geographical Information Services (AGIS), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) among others who gave us insight into what actually happened,” the police officer said.

He said that his team identified an official memo written by a senior official of FCDA advising against the irregular conversion of the plots.

“At AGIS, investigation revealed that plots 1201 and 3352 which were originally allocated to PHCN and NIPOST were revoked and then re-allocated to 9 private individuals including two wives of the former minister, daughter of former President Obasanjo, Iyabo Obasanjo–Bello, a serving senator, Philip Aduda and the 2nd and 3rd accused persons,” Mr Idowu said.

The witness further told the court that his team discovered from the Corporate Affairs Commission that Misters El-Rufai, and Iro are directors in the three companies which benefited from the re-allocation, namely: System Property Development Company, SPDC, Express Procurement Ltd and Pure Environment Services.

“In the course of investigation, it was discovered that one of the irregularly converted plots, allocated to one of the wives of the 1st accused person ,with new plot number 337 was also used by him as one of the properties declared as his own in his Asset Declaration Form with the Code of Conduct Bureau,” the police investigator said.

A former Executive Secretary with the FCDA, Sani Alhassan, told the court that after a meeting with the management of PHCN it was discovered that the earlier revocation was no more necessary. He said a memo was written to the former minister advising him to revert to status quo.

The case was adjourned to 25 April for further hearing.

Mr El-Rufai and his co-accused persons were first arraigned on an amended eight-count on Thursday 7 April 2011. Their arraignment followed a petition to EFCC, detailing allegations of abuse of office against the former minister on how he misappropriated government land which he allocated to his friends and family members, in flagrant breach of the Abuja Master plan.