I am delighted to welcome you to this breakfast media parley. Today marks the beginning of activities in commemoration of my two years in office as the Postmaster General of the Federation.
Let me start by expressing my gratitude to you gentlemen of the Press for honouring our invitation to this event.
Importantly, permit me to put on records that your positive reports have been a source of great encouragement for us and the energy you create by those reports have helped us to achieve a lot in our drive for an effective service delivery. I thank you all.
It would be recalled I was appointed as the Postmaster General of the Federation/CEO of NIPOST on 23rd December, 2019. On resumption, I made a commitment to leave a legacy behind in NIPOST just like I did in every other place I had served.
In approaching my assignment, I had no doubt over the doggedness of the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, in carrying out the mandate of the President in the use of digital economy to realize the objective of economic prosperity for all Nigerians.
At the inception of this administration, we made a serious appraisal of the Post in Nigeria vis-a-vis other postal administrations across the globe, preoccupied ourselves reviewing the inherited corporate vision with aims of giving a sharper focus for timely, measurable and sustainable performance.
However, my strategy for the immediate revival of the organization suffered a setback almost instantly, with the World going into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This practically threw NIPOST, like all other organizations, into a recession.
The pandemic changed the way things were done. A “new normal” emerged, and the organization needed to show great resilience by changing its mode of operations in order to meet the needs of our customers during the ongoing pandemic. We had to re-strategize for NIPOST to adapt to the changing business environment and make the organization better equipped to meet the customers’ ever-changing aspirations.
NIPOST management, under my leadership, identified Public Private Partnership (PPP) as one of the best ways forward. Going-it-alone, solo approach to doing business is less efficient and maybe unprofitable. It then means onboarding other businesses through partnerships to meet customers’ needs and achieve consolidated diversification.
In the area of operation and logistics, 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 (6) 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 twenty-seven (27) new 10, 20, and 30 tonnage trucks into our fleet.
In a bid to onboard other businesses and expand the frontiers of NIPOST products and services, a B2B agreement was signed with eGATE of Egypt on digital transformation. With this agreement, job opportunities will be created. It will also help to address the infrastructure gap in the organization, as well as reposition NIPOST on the path of full digitalization.
In the last two years, several stamps were produced in collaboration with private partners. Notable among them are the Bangladesh High Commission and Indian High Commission who commissioned NIPOST to issue a set of commemorative postage stamps in honour of their nations’ founding fathers. These were unveiled during Bangladesh Independence Anniversary and 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi of India, respectively.
The unveiling of the 60th Independence Anniversary Commemorative Postage Stamp and the launching of Compendium of Nigerian Postage Stamps (1914-2014) by the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami marked the special occasion. The production of the postage stamp was part of the programme for the celebration of Nigeria at 60.
Furthermore, NIPOST in collaboration with the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) released a single set of postage stamp on the 45th anniversary of the agency. The event was marked with pomp and pageantry in Abuja.
Revenue Stamp was also produced and dedicated for the denotation and authentication of transactions and fees in line with the powers conferred on NIPOST by the amended Finance Act 2020.
Also, NIPOST signed an agreement with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to deliver certificates in Nigeria to private candidates who do not necessarily have to travel long distances just to collect their certificates from the examination body.
The African Development Bank (AFDB) sought partnership with NIPOST to drive agricultural transformation in Africa’s economy with the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) initiative. The objective being to produce large stocks of marketable products using NIPOST’s warehousing, logistics and financial services. This initiative we, as an organization, seek to explore to contribute to the economic development of the country while also expanding our revenue base.
The Nigerian Postal Service serves as a gateway to inbound and outbound parcels/packets which we know that some unscrupulous elements within and outside the country may want to use to perpetrate their nefarious activities. To guide against such, a high capacity scanning machine have been installed at our International Mail Processing Centre (IMPC) at NAHCO wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja. This has paid off as a number of illegal items, hard drugs and other unauthorised gadgets for criminality were intercepted and which we have handed over to the appropriate government agencies.
NIPOST under my watch did not stop at this, we also paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman/CEO National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. General Muhammad Buba Marwa (rtd.), where we renewed our cooperation in the fight against illicit drug use and trafficking in country.
In another development, management of NIPOST paid a working visit to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdurasheed Bawa. NIPOST management reestablished its collaboration towards the interception of scam mails and prevention of other financial crimes through the Post. (I believe many of us know NIPOST is represented in the Board of the agency)
We also entered into partnership with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) to enhance postal service delivery in the country with the Post Code +2 Project.
It would interest you to note that the new addressing system, that is, the Digital Addressing system is being developed as a strategic infrastructure for national development. It will facilitate mail handling, identify specific locations, ensure consistency in address related databases and enabling efficient services in government agencies, financial institutions, and businesses in a consistent manner.
Distinguished gentlemen of the fourth realms, various measures aimed at putting NIPOST on a pedestal were put in place and we worked hard with perseverance. 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 nineteen (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 sanitize 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.
At the international level, at the 27th session of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Convention in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria was elected into the Council of Administration (CA) and the Postal Operation Council (POC) of the world body. The last time Nigeria was a member of any UPU committee was in 2012.
At the African level, Nigeria emerged the second Vice Chairman of the Pan-African Postal Union (PAPU) at the 10th session held at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
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.
An organization’s success is directly tied to its workforce. I have long believe that key success factor for any strategic programme is the availability of human resource capacity to turn the strategic intentions into reality. A well motivated workforce would provide better result. For this reason, one objective I resiliently sought to achieve during these past two years was a review of the staff condition of service. I also ensured that promotion exercise was conducted as when due to motivate the work force, and for the first time in the history of NIPOST, some heads of departments who had hitherto stop at Deputy Director level, were upgraded to the rank of Directorship. The recent exercise produced 12 Directors, 23 Deputy Directors, 48 Assistant Directors and efforts are been made to train/retrain the workforce in our training Institute and in other human capacity building Institutions.
The achievements listed above could not have been possible if not for commitment of the Chairman, Barr. Maimuna Yaya Abubakar Chairman and Governing Board members, National Assembly Committees on Communications, Senate Committee under the Chairman, Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu and House of Representatives Committee of Communications Chairman, Hon. (Prince) Hakeem Adeyemi.
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. We will be available to work in partnership with other related agencies, both government and private sectors to ensure we provide reliable and efficient services for the socioeconomic development of our country.
Once again, distinguished gentlemen I thank you very immensely for finding time to grace this event and for your effective coverage of the activities of NIPOST over the years and I count on more of such supports from you all.
Thank you all.
. Being the text of a press briefing by the Postmaster General/CEO of the Nigerian Postal Service, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, at a media parley to mark the second anniversary of his appointment in Abuja on January 18, 2022.