The Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) is set to open 10,000 smart offices across the country in a bid to make post offices a one-stop-shop for diverse economic transactions and overcome the challenges faced as a result of the erosion of the letter-writing culture in line with the Federal Government’s digital economy policy.
The Postmaster General of the Federation, Dr Ismail Adewusi, made this known at the weekend at the General Post Office Complex, Dugbe in Ibadan, while inspecting facilities of the agency in Oyo State, adding that plans are underway to embrace technological development to give the best service to people in the country.
He explained that with technical advancement across the globe putting the letter-writing culture out of vogue, the postal services had initiated creative business methodologies to maintain its relevance by going back to its previous activities which include economic service delivery like a money order.
“We want to be a one-stop outfit where you can do many transactions like collection of your international passport, driving license, capture your National Identity Card images; all these are the E-governance platforms that we are developing. We want to run a smart outlet post office services. It would not be big but you will be able to do all your transactions.
“We are going to use a new technology platform. Presently, we have the license to do international cash transfer. The citizens would be able to do their online transactions at our smart outlets in pursuit of the digital economy policy of the Federal Government. With about 13,000 staff in the 3,000 outlets across the country, we are equipped to give seamless service delivery; no staff of NIPOST is idle or underutilised. If need be, we will hire more staff for our operations but we are starting with what we have and will later expand the frontiers of employment,” he said.
According to the Post Master General, things have been difficult for postal service centres across the country especially at this period where lockdown is just easing in the country and many countries of the world.
“After the pandemic, things have been very difficult for the postal services sector, it is not the sector alone that is affected; it is a global problem. During the lockdown, we could not move our mails. That impacted negatively on our revenue. The Nigerian airspace is yet to be opened and this impacted negatively on our operations.
“Mails are reducing as people no longer send letters. The reform is in place to ensure that NIPOST is commercially run as a viable business entity. NIPOST Properties and Development Company Limited as well as NIPOST Transport Company and Logistics Limited are already registered. We have a plan for a NIPOST microfinance bank to be run with branches in all our agencies across Nigeria. All of these are new initiatives that we are pursuing.
“Now, we don’t have enough postal outlets. The ones that we have now were designed several years ago. In Ibadan, we have about eight post offices. Ibadan is so large that we need to take our services down to the grassroots where it is needed. Definitely, when we set up those smart offices, working with the private sector of course, we are going to have more than 10,000 outlets all over Nigeria. We have about 3,000 outlets all over Nigeria already,” he said.