The Federal Government is set to carve out five companies from the Nigerian Postal Service, the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, has said.
Shittu, who stated this in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, disclosed that the move was part of efforts to reform the postal service and put it on the path of profitability.
Prominent among the new businesses are insurance and banking, transport and logistics as well as property and e-commerce.
The five companies to be carved out of NIPOST are expected to ride on some assets and resources currently owned by the postal organisation, which are underutilised or not even used at the moment.
The exercise being carried out alongside the Bureau of Public Enterprises will also create an independent regulatory body for postal and courier services.
Shittu said, “The icing on the cake will be the reforms that we are bringing to NIPOST. By the grace of God, in the next few months, five new companies will emerge from NIPOST. One will be the NIPOST Banking and Insurance Company; we have the NIPOST Transport and Logistics Company; we have the NIPOST Property and Development Company. We also have NIPOST e-Commerce Services Company, and we have the NIPOST e-Government Services Company.
“We have the steering committee of which I am the chairman. The National Council on Privatisation is expected to give approval for the appointment of a transaction adviser, who will put all the structures in place. “
He added, “These initiatives will create more jobs for Nigerians. It will provide more services to Nigerians, particularly those who live in rural areas. It will also open new floodgates of revenue streams for the government.
“We have also secured funding for Galaxy Backbone Phase Two to provide interconnectivity to all Federal Government offices, agencies and institutions everywhere in Nigeria. Everywhere will be connected to one portal in order to aid our e-Government initiative.”
Our correspondent reports that there is a bill in the National Assembly that seeks to bring a number of reforms to the postal organisation.
The advent of digital communication systems, including mobile telecommunications and the Internet with various forms of social media, has left NIPOST struggling, thereby making reforms inevitable if the postal organisation must survive.
One of the areas that NIPOST believes that it can tap into for new businesses is the exploitation of its vast network, which stretches from urban communities to rural areas, where other forms of communications, banking services and government presence are minimal.