Asiwaju Bisi Adegbuyi, post master general/CEO, Nigeria Postal Service [NIPOST], has been in charge of restructuring the institution since his appointment in 2016. He has brought in a lot of innovations towards achieving a 21st century services organisation. He is looking forward to a new NIPOST, largely self sustaining in terms of funding, commercially viable and profitability.
His aim is to position NIPOST as a capital generating outfit, undertaking digital financial services, real estate development and transport/logistic services. Other areas of focus include general services support [e-government] and merchandising [e-commerce services]. The plan to transform NIPOST into a viable commercial entity involves unbundling the institution into five subsidiaries each specialising in one of the five key service functions.
NIPOST under Adegbuyi is headed for a big capacity building, job creation, innovative business support services and revenue generation. He is optimising the institution in many fronts to tap Nigeria’s economic potentials through the postal network. This includes the nation’s youthful population in respect of which NIPOST is introducing digital addressing system initiative that will establish a unique post code identifier across state and local government levels.
NIPOST is already licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate international money transfer services. Adegbuyi is shaping up the institution to become a major player in the huge international money remittance ecosystem. Remittances by Nigerians in diaspora added up to about $22 billion in 2017, according to World Bank’s report.
The remittances were made mostly through foreign remittance companies. NIPOST’s boss plans to add innovative mechanisms into the funds transfer service that will position it as the prime channel of international money remittance in Nigeria.
The elevated status of NIPOST in terms of operational competence was affirmed with its ability to win the contract for monthly cash disbursement of N5,000 each to the poor in three states of the federation. The strength to execute the job, according to Adegbuyi, has come from innovative approaches that have been employed and the use of technology to advance client service quality.
NIPOST is transforming into a veritable instrument of financial inclusion through its e-banking drive. The target is to take financial services to the 41% adults in Nigeria that are financially excluded. This is a big task and a long journey ahead for NIPOST but Adegbuyi has flagged it off with agency banking partnership with Keystone Bank.
The post master general is on a mission to take basic financial services to the people in rural and semi-urban communities, the financially excluded, the un-banked, the under-banked where ever they may be. Under the service, people can open valid bank accounts, pay in deposits, make withdrawals as well as pay utility bills and register for WAEC and NECO examinations.
“Our people, artisans, women, men, labourers and others should have access to basic financial banking services”, Adegbuyi said. NIPOST, he said, has gone beyond letter delivery into technology driven financial services in its desire to realize the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Development of the postal infrastructure, he said, is the enabler of inclusive development and a key platform for delivering public services needed to attain the development goals.
He is leading a regime of innovation and diversification in NIPOST towards a postal revolution. It is, for him, an exciting time in the history of the institution because the effort is really paying off. Through innovative products, the institution is reinventing itself to compete in the global space. “There is so much to be gained from this transformation. You must satisfy your customers who are with the money. We are reinventing ourselves by leveraging on digitization”, Adegbuyi said.
NIPOST has introduced electronic money order designed to enable people in rural and urban communities receive and send money across the country. This is an application of modern communication technologies to offer to society a digital product designed to meet the needs of modern times.
According to the NIPOST’s boss, the new product needed a unique configuration and integration with the technology requirement of Universal Postal Union, which have been done. The technology infrastructure has been tested and the unique electronic money order of NIPOST is ready to for rollout, he assured.
Considering the infrastructures and high quality personnel at NIPOST’s command presently, information minister, Mr. Adebayo Shittu said the agency has the capacity to serve as a life wire for the nation’s development.
NIPOST is adopting the global system that will improve nationwide delivery of its services. The addressing system is designed to increase the number of homes it is capable of delivering services to. With that, the institution has placed Nigeria as the 7th country in the world and 3rd in Africa to adopt the new addressing system.
The global addressing system has divided the world into 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, each having a unique three-word address. This is interpreted to mean that every home and every business in Nigeria has a simple and accurate address that is easy to remember and to use.
This is set to change Nigeria’s poor addressing system under which only 20% of its inhabitants can receive mails at home and only about 478,000 boxes are available in all the post offices. NIPOST has set a target to raise home delivery services to over 70% within two years. Its ‘Mail for Every House Initiative’ is driving effort towards the goal.
Through the postal sector reform, Adegbuyi seeks to provide for the nation a low cost, universal postal service that ensures a solid communication medium nationwide and an efficient and safe postal service responsive to developments in the rest of the world. He envisions the development of the postal service into a commercially viable entrepreneurial conglomerate and the creation of a convenient means of financial inclusion and funds transfer through the postal network.