Senate Mulls Legislative Reforms For Nigerian Postal Service

TECH DIGEST – The Nigerian Senate is presently legislating on reforms that will help to revive the ailing Nigerian Postal Service and make the country’s postal industry rise to the demands of existing realities, Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has disclosed.

Giving her remark yesterday at the Public hearing of the Senate Committee on Communications on the Nigerian Postal Service Act and the Nationwide Toll-Free Emergency Number Bill 2021, Senator Tinubu, revealed that she has already sponsored a bill aimed at reforming the postal industry.

The bill among other things proposes an expansion of the current objectives of NIPOST, to cover the implementation of a National Postal Policy, which will encourage local and foreign investment in the postal industry.

The Bill will also protect the rights and interests of service providers in the sector, provision of postal services to areas and towns that were erstwhile, not sustainable, promoting small and medium enterprises in the sector, while engendering innovation, integration and inclusion in keeping up with current trends.

“The Global Postal Industry and indeed, every facet of human life has continued to evolve, thus requiring the Nigerian Postal Industry to rise to the demands of existing realities. As a result, there is a need to ensure that legislation for the Sector is reflective of the times we are in,” she said.

Also, the Bill provides for the unbundling of NIPOST by splitting the roles of the Nigerian Postal Service also referred to as the Public Postal Operator (PPO), whose responsibility shall be the provision of Universal Postal Services in Nigeria; and the Nigerian Postal Commission (NPC), another corporate body which shall have the sole responsibility of regulating and supervising the Postal Sector.

This Bill also makes provision for administration and planning of a National Postcode System, in line with global addressing standards, for efficient mail delivery, and seeks to establish a Universal Postal Service Fund (UPSF) to be applied for the deployment of subsidized Postal Services and infrastructure to the unserved and underserved areas.

Beyond serving the interest of our anti-trust and competition laws, the clear delineation of roles, I believe, will make NIPOST more commercially viable, while ensuring more efficient service delivery.

The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) dates as far back as 1852, evolving from an exigency of the colonial administration to a Collection Office of the United Kingdom and eventually, to the NIPOST we have all come to know, boasting coverage of the entire Federation, and providing postal administration services to Nigeria.

As at 1st of October, 1960 when Nigeria gained independence from colonial rule, there existed one hundred and seventy-six (176) Post Offices, 10 Sub-Post Offices and 1000 Postal Agencies. Today, the agency has over nine hundred and fifty-five (955) Post Offices and more than three thousand (3,000) Postal Agencies in the thirty-six states of the Federation.