FG Unveils Plan To Unbundle NIPOST Into Courier Services, Microfinance Bank

Pantami expressed optimism that NIPOST would be transformed into a world-class outfit.

 

The Federal Government has unveiled plans to unbundle the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) into a courier service, microfinance bank among others.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this on Tuesday during the unveiling of NIPOST’s N50 revenue stamp for denoting transactions in the country.

He listed other aspects of NIPOST unbundling which would take place before the end of the year to include NIPOST transport and logistics, courier services, and microfinance bank.

“We have many policies for transforming NIPOST in the pipeline. Part of the policy is the plan to unbundle NIPOST.

“We have in the pipeline, Transport and Logistics Company, a Courier Service and a Microfinance Bank. We will do the best we can before the year ends to ensure that the slot are achieved,” the Minister said.

According to him, these are part of efforts to boost Nigeria’s revenue generation which will be invested into education, security, agriculture, among other sectors in the country.

Pantami expressed optimism that NIPOST would be transformed into a world-class outfit.

“The unveiling of the N50 revenue stamp is the beginning of the transformation of NIPOST. We have recorded modest achievements in NIPOST that will increase its revenue and raise monies for other sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“Part of the transformation is to unbundle NIPOST. This includes NIPOST Property development Company; this is a company that will bring all the NIPOST Properties together and develop them and generate revenue from them,” he said.

Pantami tasked the staff of NIPOST to double efforts aimed at increasing revenue generation for the country, as that would be the only justification for the increased welfare package.

 

NIPOST Re-enactment Bill

In June 2021, the Senate passed the NIPOST repeal and re-enactment bill 2021, which had restricted the agency to only postal operations in the country.

The bill which was passed also seeks to unbundle NIPOST for efficient service delivery by creating a commission to regulate its affairs.

It was passed by the Senate following the consideration of the report of the Committee on Communications, which is Chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

FIRS, NIPOST Tackle Each Other Over Stamp Duties Collection

A photo combination created on August 4, 2020, depicting the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Postal Service.
A photo combination created on August 4, 2020, depicting the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Postal Service.

 

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Tuesday disagreed with the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) over the administration of stamp duties in the country.

In a tweet signed by FIRS spokesman, Abdullahi Ahmad, the agency said it is solely responsible for “assessing, collecting and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties”.

On Monday, Chairman of the NIPOST Board, Maimuna Abubakar said the FIRS had no business with the collection of stamp duties.

“What is happening, are we expected to keep quiet and let FIRS kill and bury NIPOST? We need to get our mandate back,” she tweeted.

Both agencies have been at loggerheads about the collection of stamp duties, at least since 2019, but the issue took a more heated turn on Monday when Abubakar accused the FIRS of stealing NIPOST’s ideas.

“NIPOST are the sole custodians of national stamps, another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land,” she said.

“FIRS did not only steal our stamps but also our ideas, what NIPOST had worked for since 2016, our documents, patent and sneaked everything into finance bill and tactically removed the name of NIPOST.”

In its response on Tuesday, FIRS described the theft accusation as “shocking” and “a preposterous claim and great disservice to the government and people of Nigeria.”

On December 19, NIPOST staff had staged a protest in Abuja over the planned takeover of the stamp duties collection by the FIRS.

“We have heard that the Ministers say stamp duty is a form of tax and therefore should be collected by the FIRS,” General Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, who led the protesters, said.

 

“And we wonder whether FIRS will take over the responsibility of Nigerian customs because they are collecting import duties,” he added.

Pantami Orders NIPOST To Suspend Increase In License Fees For Logistics Services

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami

 

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, on Saturday ordered the suspension of an increase in license fees for courier and logistic services planned by the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

“Our attention has been drawn to an increase of licence fee, which was not part of the regulation I earlier APPROVED for you,” Pantami said via his verified Twitter profile. “Your Chair and PMG were YESTERDAY contacted to put the implementation on hold and send a report to our ministry by Monday. Best wishes!”

The Minister added that “any change of fee” must be approved by him before implementation.

 

A memo announcing the increase in license fees for courier and logistics services started to circulate on social media on Friday.

A number of Nigerians felt the move would cripple small businesses and further deplete economic activity amid a pandemic.

One Chiedu Chiadika started a petition on change.org and had garnered over 12,500 signatures as of Saturday evening.

According to the petition, “NIPOST are implementing a senseless fee for grant of Courier and Logistic License which is poised at putting hardworking Nigerians out of business in an economy that is already in ruins.”

Pantami responded on Saturday after several persons mentioned him on Twitter with respect to the burgeoning conversation around the fees.

 

The Minister had earlier approved new regulations for the courier and logistics industry but said on Saturday that an increase in license fees was not part of the package.

 

 

Buhari Replaces Heads Of Ministry Of Communications And Digital Economy

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has replaced heads of five parastatals under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

The parastatals include the Nigerians Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

Others are Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) and The Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat).

A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the appointments is due to fast-tracking the targets and mandates given to the Ministry.

Below is the list of replacements and appointments:

Nigerians Communications Commission (NCC)

  1. Prof. Adeolu Akande (South West) replaces Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye (South West) as Chairman, Board of Commissioners – subject to Senate confirmation.
  2. Mr Uche Onwude (South East) replaces Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Ararume (South East) as Non-Executive Commissioner – subject to Senate confirmation.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)

  1. Dr Abubakar Sa’id replaces Prof. Adeolu Akande as Board Chairman.
  2. Dr Habibu Ahmed Imam (North West) replaces Dr Lawal Bello Moriki (North West).
  3. Dr Mohammed Sa’idu Kumo as Board Member.

The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST)

  1. Dr Ismail Adebayo Adewusi (South West) replaces Barrister Bisi Adegbuyi (South West) as Postmaster General/CEO

Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB)

  1. Professor Muhammed Bello Abubakar replaces Architect Yusuf Kazaure.

The Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat)

  1. Architect Yusuf Kazaure replaces Chief Dr George Nnadubem Moghalu as Board Chairman.
  2. Dr Najeem Salam replaces Hon. Samson Osagie as Executive Director, Marketing and Business Development.
  3. Professor Abdu Ja’afaru Bambale replaces Kazeem Kolawole Raji as Executive Director, Technical Services.
  4. Hadi Mohammed replaces Mohammed Lema Abubakar as Executive Director, Administration.

NIPOST Workers Protest Stamp Duty Collection By FIRS

 

Staff of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) on Thursday staged a protest over the planned takeover of the collection of stamp duties by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The protest took place at the Ministry of Finance, Abuja.

“We have heard that the Ministers say stamp duty is a form of tax and therefore should be collected by the FIRS,” General Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, who led the protesters, said.

“And we wonder whether FIRS will take over the responsibility of Nigerian customs because they are collecting import duties,” he added.

 

Union leader, Dr Ayo Olorunfemi (right) at a protest rejecting the planned FIRS takeover of stamp duty collection on Thursday in Abuja.

 

On her part, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed said talks are still ongoing.

She, however, asked the protesting workers to submit a position paper on the issue.

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.