Senate threatens to fully privatise NIPOST over revenue

Sharon EboesomiNovember 15, 20233 min

The lawmakers issued NIPOST a two-year deadline to develop a re-strategise or risk being fully privatized.

 

The Senate has warned that the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) would be privatised should the agency continues to run at a deficit.

The warning was issued by the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriations, National Planning, and Economic Affairs, and the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), on Tuesday, at the ongoing public hearing on the 2024–2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Sani queried the Postmaster General of  NIPOST, Omotola Odeyemi, over the low revenue generation, especially from stamp duties, and the lack of functionality of NIPOST offices nationwide.

He said, “None of your offices are functional. When something is functioning, at least when you go there, you’ll see it open on a weekday or you will see somebody sitting. 

“I can say that 75% of NIPOST offices in Nigeria are not functional. And you’re proposing N18 billion for personal costs. Okay, it’s very easy. The finance committee will decide to allow you with your 18 billion but you will fund it yourself.

READ ALSO: Special Report: Stamp Duty and its unending Controversies in Nigeria

“If NITEL is not existing because they have been privatised and to make it more commercial, NIPOST should have followed suit. So we will make a recommendation. We will want to see your business model and how you intend to drive the Nigerian postal service, if not, we will suggest and bring it as a legislature that the Nigeria Postal Service should completely be privatised, because you will not be taking 18 billion and then you are bringing a revenue of 3 billion with a staff of over 16,000, it doesn’t make sense at all,” he asserted.

Consequently, the committee thereafter directed Odeyemi to provide the names, positions held, and salaries of every NIPOST employee so they could conduct further investigation.

Furthermore, it gave NIPOST a two-year deadline to develop a strategy for re-organising the service and amending its business model to enable it to become self-sustaining rather than losing money, or otherwise, it would enact legislation to ensure total privatisation of the organisation.

Meanwhile, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), projected N66.473billion as revenue generation in 2024, N69. 744billion in 2025 and N73.2billion in 2026.

The Director General of the training agency, Dr. Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun, made this submission at the public hearing, stating that out of the generated revenue, N14 Billion had been remitted into the consolidated Revenue Fund just as 50% of the revenue used for reimbursement of employers of labor.

Ogun also informed that the agency is set to commence the registration of artisans to position them for job opportunities.

“Within my short stay in Nigeria, I observed that artisan jobs in the country have been taken over by Beninoises, Ghanaians, and Togolese which should not be so because there is no job Nigerians cannot do.

“To stem the tide, ITF under my leadership, would soon put in place, the National Artisans Registration and Development Programme to register our artisans and position them for jobs due to them.”

He added that ITF is a big organisation with 16 Directors, two head offices, 41 Area Offices, 5 Skills and Training Centres, 14 Vocational Skills and Training Centres, etc.

 

 

Sharon Eboesomi

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