By Zakariyya Adaramola
The Federal Government has approved a partial sale of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), the Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu has said.
Shittu, who this disclosed this Thursday in Abuja while inaugurating the steering committee and the project delivery team for the postal sector reforms and restructuring of/modernization of NIPOST, said the National Council of Privatisation under the chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had set up a steering committee to ensure NIPOST was ‘’partially’’ commercialized.
“Government has approved that NIPOST is partially commercialized in keeping faith with the Second Scheduled Part 1, Section 6(1) of the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation ) Act, 1991,” the minister said.
He, however, disclosed that some of NIPOST’s services would still reflect policies and economic intervention from government.
To ensure that NIPOST is modernized and restructured, the minister said the agency would cease to be a regulator of postal industry especially after the bill of the Nigerian Postal Commission has passed and assented to.
He said: “In that regard, the government wishes to separate what hitherto had been the dual function of NIPOST as regulator and operator. When passed into law, NIPOST will concentrate on its function as an operator in Nigeria’s postal system; hence the need for reforms so that it can make its pitch for a share of the now deregulated postal market.”
The minister said the steering committee was expected to make NIPOST a strong corporate brand and restructure it, such that it would be a robust and solid commercial enterprise competing in the postal market.
“This committee is expected to take postal services in Nigeria to a new height in the face of the global challenge posed by new technology to postal services,” he said.
He said would be sold and run like a commercial entity after the steering committee might have finished their assignment in April.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Alex Okoh said due consideration would be given to professionalism and integrity in selling NIPOST.
The steering committee is headed by the minister while the Project Delivery Team is headed by Aliyu Maigari of the BPE.