NIPOST: MISSION OF EXPANDING THE FRONTIER OF MAIL DELIVERY IN WEST AFRICA SUB-REGION?
With regards to the global move towards integration and corporation, the Nigeria Postal Service [NIPOST], appears to have effectively kick started the application of the principle of Integration and Cooperation in mail delivery services in West Africa.
The seed of this NIPOST initiative on integration and corporation, was effectively sowed in 2004 at the 23 rd Congress of the Universal Postal Union Meeting held in Bucharest, Romania. It was at the congress that the late Postmaster General of the Federation, Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu was elected the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the UPU. Perhaps what served as catalyst to mail delivery expansion mission in West Africa was first, the reason behind the election of late Alhaji Abubakar Argungu at the UPU meeting, which according to report was “in recognition of his contributions to the development and improvement of postal service not only in Nigeria but also in the West-Africa sub-region”. Said to be an influential factor in the initiation of mail delivery service expansion in West Africa Sub-region also, is the recognition of Nigeria as the benchmark for mail circulation in Africa by the International Bureau of the UPU; which according to them was in appreciation of NIPOST’s success in improving mail transit time in a country regarded as the largest in Africa where the use of modern technology for mail processing is still relatively low.
As if the NIPOST knew in advance, the vision of President Umaru Musa Yar-Adua, in designing the West African mail route programme in the first place, the principal objective tallied with the position of president Yar-Adua on the occasion of the visit by the former prime minister of the Republic of Togo and special Envoy of President Faure Gnassingbe, Mr. Edem Kojo, at the State House. President Yar-Adua has this to say : Government will give full support to all efforts that promotes unity and advance attainment of economic integration in Africa. He further said, “We need to open up our borders by intensifying movement and communication among our people”. The president comment as it were, is a clear indication that NIPOST is commendably on the right track in this regard.
With the coming on board of Mallam Mori Baba, who according to information played a vital role in the designing of the programme-mail delivery expansion in West Africa, upon the unfortunate demise of Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu, the project appears to have taken off. According to reports, in line with the reform induced mission of NIPOST generally, great efforts was invested by Mallam Mori Baba led management in shopping for suitable private partners in the enterprise of mail delivery in West African Sub-region, in accordance with it new international status as spelt out by the world affiliate body, the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The heart warming news filtering from the establishment [ NIPOST] is that it has commenced effective operation- mail delivery services. In furtherance to the public/private partnership initiative, NIPOST has started the delivery of mails form its base in Lagos to: Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Niger Republic, Chad, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic. Report has it that the scheme has recorded a huge success, and the possibility of further expansion looks very bright; since the countries enjoying the scheme are ready to go into permanent contract agreement with NIPOST, because of what the scheme saves them in terms of general cost of delivery in the past. It is expected that very soon, revenue would start rolling in for NIPOST from this commendable initiative.
French speaking countries are said to be particularly happy with NIPOST over this initiative because of what they called cumbersome process of mails sorting and delivery in the past. Before now, mails meant for those Franco-Phone countries are usually sent to France for sorting before coming back to them. In terms of cost to the recipient countries, it is now chapter because the sorting would now take place in Lagos before proceeding to the recipient countries. There is also the issue of reduced time of delivery. Generally, when NIPOST enters agreement for payment for services rendered in this regard, with these countries, it is expected that they would embrace the idea with two hands, in view of their strategic interest which NIPOST is diligently serving.
Relatedly, NIPOST has embarked on training of the personnel of these Countries Postal Agencies’ for overall efficiency and effectiveness. NIPOST is also said to be providing office equipment for enhancement of their operations. Not long ago, some staff of Liberian Postal Service were trained by NIPOST, in furtherance to its determination to play the role assigned to it by the world affiliate body - UPU. The Niger Republic Postal Service had in recent past enjoyed a similar gesture from NIPOST. NIPOST provided work enhancement equipment to them through the Country’s Ambassador to Nigeria.
With the apparent seriousness of NIPOST in the area of mail delivery expansion in West Africa sub-region, and related assignments, it has clearly shown that Mallam Mori Baba led management is poised to make Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), the giant of Africa in Postal Service, in fulfillment of the responsibility placed on its shoulders by the Universal Postal Union [UPU].
Information Management Consultant,
Wrote in from Garki-Abuja.