The Senate has said it is looking at the possibility of privatising the Nigeria Postal Service(NIPOST) for optimal performance.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance Sen.Sani Musa said this at an interactive session on 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
The Postmaster General of the Federation, Mr Tola Odeyemi who appeared before the committee to defend her agency’s 2024 -2026 input in the MTEF, FSP had angered the senators, when she said her agency projected N18 billion as personnel cost for the 16, 000 NIPOST workers across the country.
Musa who said the impact of NIPOST, across the country was not been felt, rhetorically asked why it would increase its personnel cost from N13 billion in 2023 to N18 billion for 2024.
The explanation of the Postmaster General that the increment was due to recent increase in personnel cost of NIPOST occasioned by Federal Government payment of peculiar allowance to workers did not appease members of the committee.
Sen. Ireti Kingibe (LP-FCT) said NIPOST as a partially funded agency needed to be a vibrant postal agency.
” NIPOST should not be scrapped but should be turned to a revenue generating agency.
“The only thing is that the agency was stuck in the 19th century analogue operation instead of migrating to digital service for efficient services.
“There is nothing stopping NIPOST to digitalise their offices across the country to offer electronic services for Nigerians, deliver government services at all local government areas and even engage in financial services.”
Sen.Osita Izunaso, however, argued that NIPOST as it is currently structured, should not be encouraged, if the country was interested in generating revenues to fund its annual budgets.
Chairman of the Committee Sani Musa consequently asked the Chief Executive Officer of NIPOST to forward to the committee, details of her business plan to reposition the agency to a highly revenue generating agency.
“NIPOST should have been fully privatised before now because nobody is feeling their impact anywhere in the country.
“We are ready to recommend to the Senate in plenary, full privatisation of the NIPOST except the Postmaster General convince us otherwise.
“The CEO of NIPOST should forward to the secretariat of our committee details of her business model on how the agency would be generating adequate revenues for the country through creative ideas.
“Failure to do this would leave the Senate with no other option than to recommend the full privatisation of NIPOST,” Musa said. (NAN)