By Jessica Dogo
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on an e-fulfillment centre for e-services, e-commerce, e-governance and e-agriculture.
The two organisations agreed on this during a courtesy visit by the NIPOST management to the NCC’s headquarters on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Post Master General (PMG) Mr Ismail Adewuyi, informed that the reason for the visit was for NIPOST to seek partnership, interventions and to also tap from the synergies that existed between the two agencies.
Adewuyi appealed for collaborative efforts in the area of expanding broadband penetration, particularly in the rural communities, where the NIPOST had existing presence in order to improve and ease their duties.
He explained that the vision for the Federal Government to NIPOST was to ensure that the agency continued to play universal service obligation, which was a mandate of the universal postal union.
He said that NIPOST was looking at setting up a transport and logistics company that would serve the purpose of moving mails, parcels and to leverage on its properties within the country in order to add value and to ensure that the agency contributed to the nation.
The PMG further said that one of the major areas NIPOST wanted to optimise was the post office bank, which he said was a big business, adding that it was an active government financial inclusion strategy that would boost the economy of the country.
“In Nigeria we are still largely under banked especially in the rural communities where we have post office reach. We want to take many out of poverty.
“We want to contract the excess capacity we have and service the people at large in the country.
“In the world at large we now have many postal services not only sending mails but auxiliary services around the globe.
“We want to find a way to tap into the symbiotic relationship that we all have in common as a parastatal agency under the ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
“For us, our agency is going through a lot of transformation at this point so there cannot be any better time to seek for this kind of partnership than now,” he said.
In his response, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, mentioned an area of common interest between the two agencies, which had to do with the issue of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
He said that the commission was making efforts to reach amicable resolution between the banks and the telecommunications operating companies.
He noted that the commission signed an MOU with the CBN in order to reduce the number of Nigerians excluded from joint financial services to only 20 per cent.
Danbatta called for more awareness of campaign to educate Nigerians about the new NIPOST and also called for continuous collaboration among agencies under communications.
He expressed concern about the difficulties that NIPOST went through and commended the PMG and the management board for bringing innovations to the agency.
“We hope we can raise the financial inclusion penetration to 80 per cent. It is about 60 per cent at the moment.
“On the USSD issue, we need to get permission from the Minister who issued that important pronouncement on behalf of the government that the USSD service should be suspended.
“We have written to the Minister making a very strong and convincing statement to revisit so that financial inclusion penetration is not retarded through the sanction,” he said. (NAN)