The Postmaster General of the Federation, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, on Tuesday reeled out steps taken by the agency to reposition itself in line with the modern global business realities since he assumed office two years ago.
Adewusi was named the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Postal Service on December 23, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking at an interactive session in Abuja on Tuesday, Adewusi said though the pandemic which struck few months into assumption of office almost stalled a comprehensive reforms package he came to NIPOST with, he explained that COVID-19 and its impacts however opened new world of possibilities which his administration did not waste time to leverage.
The Postmaster General said the pandemic rather hastened the process of digitalisation of the agency’s processes, adding that two years down the line, customers of NIPOST are seeing the changes, which have been brought to bear on its operations.
Adewusi, who expressed appreciation to President Buhari and Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, for what he called their commitment to the advancement of digital economy, listed a number of initiatives NIPOST had explored to boost business and enhance operations.
He added that the achievements of the last two years could also not have been possible but for the cooperation enjoyed from the National Assembly through the Senate Committee on Communications and its House of Representatives counterparts.
He said the Chairman Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and the House Committee Chairman, Hon Hakeem Adeyemi, played crucial roles in the successes recorded by NIPOST.
He said within the period in review, the African Development Bank partnered with his agency over its agricultural programme with a view to using its facilities.
He said: “The African Development Bank sought partnership with NIPOST to drive agricultural transformation in Africa’s economy with the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones initiative.
“The objective being to produce large stocks of marketable products using NIPOST’s warehousing, logistics and financial services.
“This initiative we, as an organisation, seek to explore to contribute to the economic development of the country while also expanding our revenue base.”
Towards more efficient service delivery, Adewusi said his agency has embarked on replacement of old infrastructure with new ones.
He cited the instances of new delivery trucks, refurbished postal outlets and acquisition of technology devices to enhance delivery.
He added: “The quantum leap in e-commerce necessitated drastic measures to cope with the surge in parcels/packet deliveries. NIPOST collaborated with a number of private transporters and logistics companies like Speedaf to ensure seamless deliveries.
“Recently, six additional new high tonnage trucks were acquired for e-commerce and logistics. This acquisition has greatly boosted the quality of service. Just as the collaboration with Speedaf Logistics Nigeria Limited led to the acquisition of 27 new 10, 20, and 30 tonnage trucks into our fleet.”
Revealing that under his watch, NIPOST has established the first digital centre in Enugu, Adewusi said the new face his administration is building for the agency will change the mindset of Nigerians on the ability of the agency to deliver world class services in logistics.
He said: “In last two years, some of our Post offices have been transformed into smart post offices.
“These include Eruwa, Awe, Omu-Aran, Gombe, Oshogbo, Ogbomoso, Ado Ekiti, Enugu Post offices.
“We want to transform the Post offices into hubs, a one-stop-shop, where citizens can access a number e-government services like applying for driver’s license, international passport, NIN registration, etc.
“This idea has become indispensable in new – normal world we live today.
“Also, the Nigerian Postal Service, under my supervision, has established its first digital center in Enugu, which includes computer-based training test (CBT) center, and other online transaction platforms.”
Expressing high hopes that the newly passed Postal (Repeal) Bill will further boost NIPOST business opportunities, the NIPOST boss said the Finance Act which has now conferred on the agency a role in stamp administration, the approval of new courier regulatory frameworks are all parts of the new developments which have substantially altered the way NIPOST does business.
He said: “I am very happy to inform you that today, we have a success story to tell, with the approval of a new courier regulation after 19 years.
“The last regulation was last reviewed in 2001.
“The new regulation empowers NIPOST to regulate the courier and logistics industry, checkmate the activities of logistics and courier companies in the country.
“The new regulations would sanitise the logistics ecosystem and put in check nefarious activities of the criminal-minded operators.
“Another milestone is the passage and signing of the amended Finance Act, 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari to give NIPOST a role in the administration of Stamp Duty in Nigeria.
“It is gratifying for us to note that NIPOST (Repeal) Bill was passed by the Senate and House of the Representatives and it is awaiting assent by the President Muhammad Buhari GCFR.
“I am of great belief that the Bill, when signed, will reposition NIPOST for better service delivery.”
Adewusi also listed collaborations with agencies of the government such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency as part of efforts to ensure NIPOST plays crucial roles in national development and the battle against crime and drugs abuse.
He expressed optimism that things will further look up in the days ahead adding that a solid foundation has already been laid for better service delivery.
He said: “Giving the modest achievements we have recorded in the last two years of my administration, it is my candid belief that we are on the right track and determined to reposition NIPOST to an enviable height for effective service delivery to the citizenry.
“As we braced up to confront emerging challenges in the digital world, NIPOST is working assiduously to remain a veritable force to reckon with in the courier and logistics industry.”