The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh, has assured workers of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) that the on-going reform of the postal service would not attract job losses or retrenchment, but create more jobs in the subsidiaries that would emerge.
A statement by BPE’s Head, Public Communications, Amina Tukur Othman, on Wednesday said Okoh gave the assurance when he received the leadership of the National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE), led by its President, Rev. (Dr) Nehemiah G. Buba in Abuja.
He said that NIPOST after the reform would remain 100 percent entity of the Federal Government as the reform only aims at commercializing its services and making it robust to deliver more efficient postal service.
He informed the labour leaders that three commercial ventures -NIPOST Properties & Development Company; NIPOST Transport & Logistics Company and NIPOST Microfinance Bank Limited – had already been carved out of NIPOST.
He disclosed that the Bureau has completed the registration of NIPOST Properties & Development Company and NIPOST Transport & Logistics Company at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) while the process for registration at CAC and also that of obtaining regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for NIPOST Microfinance bank had also commenced.
Okoh reiterated that the benefits of the reform of the sector to include the provision of efficient postal services and utilisation of vast assets of NIPOST across the country; reduction in funding from the treasury in terms of subventions to NIPOST and the operation and growth of ancillary services and business to enhance the overall efficiency of NIPOST to create more jobs.
The Director General said that the reform of the postal sector will lead to the emergence of Nigerian Postal Commission (NPC) as a regulator of the sector to ensure efficiency, service delivery and check abuses.
He said during a tour of some of the countries that have effectively reformed their postal services and are reaping good dividends, it was discovered that in China for instance, its Postal Bank has over 80 million customers because of its rural penetration and given that most rural communities in Nigeria do not have access to banking facilities, the emergence of NIPOST Microfinance Bank would be beneficial to the communities.
On the request by the union leaders for the Bureau to intervene in the impasse between NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on which of the organisations is statutorily required to collect stamp duties in the country, Okoh assured them that the Bureau was already interfacing in the matter and that soon, an amicable solution would be reached.
Earlier, Buba commended the Federal Government for initiating the reform which is now a reality and expressed delight over the visit as some of the issues pertaining to the reform which were hitherto not known to the workers have been laid bare by the Bureau.