• Saturday, May 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Senate probes NIPOST’s poor performance, threatens full privatization

nipost

Omotola Odeyemi, Post Master of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) was scrutinised by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday over its poor revenue generation.

The Senate threatened that if the agency continues to operate at a loss, it will privatize it fully. Sani Musa, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Finance, gave this warning during the 2024-2026 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework public hearing at the National Assembly.

He expressed his dissatisfaction with the agency’s lack of functionality and abysmal revenue generation, especially from stamp duties.

In response, the committee has directed the Post-Master General of the Federation to provide the names of all staff members of the organisation, allocation and salary to the committee for further investigation.

The committee also gave NIPOST two years to establish a plan to revamp the service and change the business model to achieve self-sustenance rather than operating at a loss. Otherwise, the Senate will enact legislation to ensure total privatisation.

Read also NIPOST staff shutdown head office in protest against Tinubu’s appointment of new CEO

The lawmakers were unhappy with Odeyemi’s explanation of the agency projecting N18bn as personnel cost for the NIPOST 16,000 workers nationwide. Musa lamented that despite low impact, NIPOST could increase its personnel cost from N13bn in 2023 to N18bn in 2024.

A member of the joint panel, Ireti Kingibe, a Senator representing the FCT, attempted to defend the continued existence of NIPOST as a partially funded federal government agency, claiming that every nation deserves its vibrant postal agency.

However, Osita Izunaso disagreed with Kingibe, arguing that the NIPOST, as it is currently structured, should not be encouraged if the country is interested in generating revenues to fund its annual budgets.

The Chairman of the joint panel ruled that the NIPOST CEO should forward to the committee details of her business plan to reposition the agency as a highly revenue-generating agency. He warned that NIPOST should have been fully privatized before now because nobody is feeling their impact anywhere in the country.

The Senate committee gave NIPOST an ultimatum to develop a business model on how the agency would generate adequate revenues for the country through creative ideas, as failure to do so would leave the Senate with no other option than to recommend the full privatization of NIPOST.