The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), has urged the leadership of the National Assembly to wade into the brewing crises on collection of stamp duties among revenue collection agencies.
Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, General Secretary of the Union, while briefing newsmen at the National Assembly, said that more than 9,000 workers would lose their jobs with the proposed plan to take over the responsibilities of collection of stamp duties from the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST).
The union boss called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President and the Speaker of House of Representatives to consider and reverse any attempt to divert NIPOST’s revenue source to any other government agency.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that while the FIRS contends that it had the sole responsibility for the collection of all taxes and duties in the country, NIPOST is the repository of stamps and duties introduced since the colonial days.
“It is now clear that the Federal Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, is ready to take over the responsibility of the Nigerian Postal Services by influencing the House of Representatives to insert the collection to be their responsibility.
“Once this is done, it means NIPOST is finished; there is no form of revenue and it means that the financial inclusion programme of this government will go into extinction because it is only NIPOST that has federal presence spread across all the villages and communities in Nigeria.
“Once that is killed, it means that most of the developmental projects of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have been killed. We say no, we will not allow this to happen .
“We have had the responsibility, since colonial days, to produce stamps, sell the stamps and ensure they are used for denotation of receipts, business documents and registration in this country. and we have been doing it.”
The union noted that since Federal Government’s creation of Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, NIPOST had moved from analogue to digital operations, and was awaiting assent from the National Assembly to change to electronic stamp productions.
“We went to the National Assembly to seek the power to change to electronic stamps, so that we can use these electronic stamps to denote our receipts, business transactions, bank transactions, etc.
“All of a sudden, because we put the analysis of financial implications, the huge revenue derivable from this project, the Federal Inland Revenue connived with the Minister of Finance to corner the process.
“There is a difference between tax collection and revenue generation; our own is for business, and we have a product we are selling; once they take it away, there will be job losses, there will be nothing for NIPOST workers to be doing.”
He noted that it was worrisome that the House of Assembly had signed the bill, allocating NIPOST’s responsibility to the Federal Inland Revenue Services, urging the Senate to halt the passage of the bill.
“We are urging the National Assembly to have a rethink and have it reverted back to continue manual and electronic production of stamps. This task is under the purview of Ministry of Communication and digital economy.”
The Secretary-General said that the organised labour would continue to strategise to protect the rights of Nigerian workers, threatening that it might force port wokers to down tools in solidarity with NIPOST workers as a trade Union under SSASCGOC.
Addressing the protesters, Acting Spokesperson of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki, said that all issues and grievances would be captured in the amendment bill.
“The report on the appropriation bill is going on in the chamber, but because of the importance of this visit, the senate president has directed me and my colleague to come here and hear why you are here now.
“He has submitted a copy of your letter and has asked me to let you know that this bill is for amendment.
“The senate president said I should assure you that your grievances on the Amendment Bill, even though it has been passed by the Senate, but still hanging in the House of Representatives, is still within the National Assembly of Nigeria.
“Following your grievances and concern, we have discussed with the Postmaster-General and all the issues addressed have been considered in the amendment Bill.
“Even if the bill is passed, if you discover any lacuna, you can come back, we will amend it for you.”
NAN recalls that the Central Bank of Nigeria had, through a circular, directed the banks to deduct N50 for stamp duty on lodgment transactions worth N1,000 and above.
NIPOST is seeking to know where the directive leaves it, being the traditional custodian of the proceeds from stamps and thus, the stamp duty.
The FIRS, however, contends that it should superintend over the stamp duty fee collection as it had always done over other duties and taxes imposed by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government has ordered immediate termination of all cash payments in all Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST).
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, announced this in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, on Thursday in Abuja.
The statement quoted the minister saying that some members of staff of NIPOST have been taking undue advantage of the cash payment system of the service to engage in corrupt practices.
He enjoined the general public and all customers of NIPOST to insist on Point of Sales (PoS) or bank teller transactions, when conducting business with NIPOST.
Pantami also directed the Post Master General (PMG) to ensure immediate implementation of strategies that would bring an end to unnecessary delays in its service delivery to customers.
According to the minister, the directive is a temporary measure to tackle corruption in the system.
“The current trend of delays in postal services will not be condoned by the office of the Minister under whose purview, the supervision of NIPOST falls.
“We are currently working on fully automating the systems as a permanent solution to the challenge.
“I hereby direct the Post Master General, to with immediate effect, suspend all existing cash payment plans within its establishments nationwide.
“The Post Master General is to ensure that all its offices revert to Point of Sales (PoS) and bank teller transactions immediately,’’ the statement read in part.
Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Mr Asiwaju Adegbuyi, Post Master General of the Federation, has said that the new global trends of postal services needed to be customised for the country to reap the benefits of digitised postal services.
Adegbuyi said this at the ongoing 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) holding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Oct.9 marks the commemoration of the World Post Day and the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which started in 1874 in Switzerland.
Adegbuyi said that the World Post Day brought to fore the importance of the post in the development of social, political and economy of each country.
“The emphasis has always been to use the post to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
“Our local equivalent of this is to use the post as a massive national infrastructure to help government achieve its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“The post must try to fulfill its cooperate and social responsibility by promoting e-commerce and adding value to the lives of the people and rendering services valuable to them.
“We are leveraging on advancing technology to drive the posts.
“The postal administration of 21st century must leverage on technology to automate processes and ensure that what is obtainable in other parts of the world is done in Nigeria.
“Some of the products being introduced into postal services are new and they need to be customised.
“We are training our workers to be abreast with some of the services introduced because some of the services, which are technology-driven, must be well tested to ensure the right places and benefits gained,’’ he said.
The post master general of the federation, however, said that over time, postal services in the country had been analog in nature, adding that it would take time to change the processes to digital forms.
He said that NIPOST was outsourcing some of its non-core postal services to auxiliary companies, to run them in a business manner.
According to him, the main postal services will be operated and overseen by NIPOST.
He also said that NIPOST had the reach to ensure financial inclusion in the country, in line with government agenda.
“We are leveraging on our reach to bring Micro and Small Medium Enterprises into what we are doing, through our e-commerce ecosystem.
“We have brought a new addressing system, to tackle the addressing challenge to a digital form which can be downloaded on Google play store.“ (NAN)
Edited by Abigael Joshua/Dada Ahmed
The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has decried the declined state of letter writing culture among children, stating that it is time to re-ignite the act as a habit in the Nigerian child.
Its Ibadan Zonal Manager, Mr Adoyi Simon said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Wednesday against the backdrop of the 2019 World Post Day.
The NIPOST’s theme is “Celebrating 145 years of delivering development and 50 years of the union’s existence ”.
Adoyi said that contrary to popular belief, letter writing was not an archaic way of communication and should be encouraged within and outside the confines of a school.
“It is important to state also that as a responsive corporate entity that is sensitive to happenings in its operational milieu, NIPOST Ibadan Zone is gravely concerned about the declined culture of letter writing in our post-primary schools.
“Arrangements are underway to kick-start a state-wide letter writing competition among secondary schools in Oyo State, an exercise that we hope to replicate in the other states in the zone,” he said.
While debunking misconceptions that the advent of ICT poses a threat to postal operations, the zonal manager described ICT as a blessing and a launch pad for NIPOST.
“Let me allay people’s misgivings about the challenges posed by ICT to postal operations. Many postal observers and book makers are made to believe that the advent of ICT heralded the extinction of the post, especially in Nigeria.
“To the contrary however, ICT became a veritable launch pad for NIPOST, enhancing her operations through automation of mail processing, tracking and tracing of postal items within and outside the NIPOST postal corridor, ‘’ Adoyi said.
According to him, there are 224 post offices spread across the six states in the Southwest that make up the Ibadan zone.
“NIPOST has been able to bridge the gap by bringing postal facilities and services to the doorsteps of the majority of rural population across Nigeria.
“The organisation has also leveraged on technology to introduce some digital products such as the Address Verification System (AVS), Digital Addressing System (DAS) and Electronic Money Transfer called ‘PosTransfer’, ’’ he said. (NAN)
Edited by Adeleye Ajayi
The Post Master General (PMG), Mr Bisi Adegbuyi says Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) is exploring partnerships in areas that will help it adopt innovative financial services and better service delivery.
Adegbuyi stated this in a statement signed by Mr Franklyn Alao, General Manager, Communication Services, NIPOST in Abuja on Wednesday to commemorate the World Postal Day.
Adegbuyi stated that NIPOST collaborations with the private sector had ingeniously changed the narrative of mail processes resulting in improved quality of last mile delivery of conventional and e- commerce items.
Last mile delivery is an initiative of NIPOST, where it ensures that items are effectively delivered, especially areas of the country.
“NIPOST is looking to diversify with its latest partnership which will also help it in becoming a licensed institution by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“It is also to enable the organisation deliver migrants’ money sent via international money transfer operators and payment systems.
“NIPOST recently partnered Eurogiro, an European postal co-operative so as reduce time and cost for rural recipients of migrant remittances.
“The Eurogiro will work with NIPOST to implement and roll out our new payment platform called Financial Supermarket solution.
“ NIPOST recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Eurogiro’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) , Mr Dame Damevski, in Amsterdam,’’ Adegbuyi said.
According to him, the Eurogiro Financial Supermarket is the next-generation of open payment platform that empowers postal organisations to actively engage in financial services and e-commerce, locally and globally at a new unprecedented level.
He said Eurogiro would cooperate with NIPOST to connect with 100,000s of post offices worldwide and Postbanks in 50 countries around the globe, through its international payment network.
Adegbuyi disclosed that the partnership would also help leverage on Nigeria’s wide and rural network of post offices and strengthen its last mile delivery initiative.
”Nigeria is the largest remittance receiving country in Africa and a large part of the foreign exchange flow stems from Europe, and from Russia, China, the GCC, North America.
“Remittance money is mainly delivered via bank branches, which are mostly present at the city centres.
“The partnership with Eurogiro will help in bringing migrant’s money home through last mile delivery of remittances in rural Nigeria where post offices are located.”
Adegbuyi noted that it would also include training of staff, setting up of payment technology, capacity building in managing the operation and ensuring compliance with the regulatory framework. (NAN)
Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Dada Ahmed
The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) on Thursday advised schools in the country to restore regular essay competitions to sharpen the writing skills of their students.
NIPOST’s District Manager for Ilorin branch, Mrs Esther Ugoosuoha, gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Ilorin.
Ugoosuoha noted that schools and private individuals should consistently organise inter-school essay competitions to help revive the dying writing culture among students in the country.
“The writing culture has disappeared; students are no more motivated and are not ready to improve their writing skills.
“School authorities must wake up and do something quick.
“It is time to stop concentrating only on inter-house sport competitions or inter- school football friendly matches; rather, we also should engage in inter-school essay competitions to improve the students.
“Students can hardly write two paragraphs correctly without spotting errors because they send messages to their friends and parents through their mobile phones.
“They are used to abbreviations and slangs while typing on their phones,” she said.
The manager also advised students to learn to improve on their writing skills, and to emulate the likes of the late Prof. Chinua Achebe, the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and other great writers.
“A lazy mind cannot attain greater heights in his or her profession; students must be ready to sacrifice their time to be the best among their peers,” she said.
Edited by Folorunso Poroye/Peter Dada
The Indian High Commission in Abuja in collaboration with the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) on Wednesday in Abuja released a commemorative stamp to honour Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary.
Shri Thakur, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, said that the release of the stamp was a fitting tribute to Gandhi and the long standing friendship between India and Nigeria.
He said that the release of the commemorative stamp in honor of Gandhi was a significant moment in India’s history and the India-Nigeria Partnership including in the field of capacity building.
Thakur said that the day’s event also coincides with the Clean India Day, with a special summit holding in India on Water and Sanitation, where the Nigerian government was also participating.
According to Thakur, Gandhi’s connect to Africa was very well known and the importance of his African experience helped in shaping his life and philosophy in places like South Africa and also his brief stay in Mauritius.
He explained that his stay in Africa was very notable because when he saw the effect of colonialism and all the ill effect that it brought on the society, he decided to fight colonialism back home.
Thakur, however, noted that the best way to pay homage is to read out some of the exert and quotes from an article written by India’s Prime Minister, Shri Modi in the New York Times publication of Oct. 2.
He quoted Modi saying “the great leader envisioned a World where every citizen had dignity and prosperity, that he envisioned Indian nationalism as one that was never narrow or exclusive.
“One that worked for the service of humanity and the unique ability to become a bridge builder between some of the greatest contradictions in human society.
“Gandhi laid emphasis on the welfare of all, championing of the downtrodden and had a concern for environment sustainability’’.
Thakur said that the design of the stamp shows Gandhi and what he believed in, which was self sufficiency and Small and Medium Enterprise, which was why the spinning wheel was captured.
He explained that with the spinning wheel which was Gandhi’s significant tool, any one, including a poor man could weave for himself, produce cloths, feed himself and free himself from the oppression of colonialism.
He appreciated the contribution of Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama to the article on Mahatma Gandhi, which would be published shortly by the High Commission.
Thakur urged Nigerians to reflect on the life of Gandhi and emulate him whenever they utilize the stamp.
Also speaking, Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, Nigeria’s Post Master-General, said that celebrating Gandhi, a man of peace at a time the world is filled with strife, war and violence was not a misplaced priority.
Adegbuyi who was represented by Mrs Loretta Nwakama, Chief Operating Officer, NIPOST, said that the commemorative event would make citizens and governments know that peace and co-existence were achievable in the World.
“We in the Nigeria Postal Service are delighted to associate with India, leading to the collaboration with the High Commission in Nigeria to issue this commemorative postal stamp.
“As a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian-Nigerian friendship.
“The significance of postage stamps is that they are the country of issue’s Ambassador that convey the message of the issuing country to another, particularly in Nigeria and India’s case.
“Whereby the two countries are members of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), thus making the stamps available in all the 192 member countries.
“This means the postage stamp to be released today would trade far and wide, criss crossing every nook and cranny of these member countries,” Adebguyi said.
Adegbuyi said that NIPOST would be bringing out 200,000 of the postal stamps to enable its wide circulation and usage in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications, commended India for honouring their own, who had shown good leadership, a leadership quality expected of all leaders in the world.
Pantami, who was represented by Mrs Ngozi Ogujiofor, Director, Telecom and Postal Service of the Ministry, said that it was important for every citizen of the world to emulate Gandhi.
“The life and time of Gandhi should guide people across the world on how to relate with one another for peace to reign.
“The release of this stamp is exemplary and should bring everyone together , both rich and poor without discrimination,” Pantami said.
Pantami commended India’s partnership with Nigeria and its benefits, which includes training and leadership in the world of telecommunications.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the event ended with a photo exhibition, with a collection of photographs from the Gandhi National Museum , New Delhi, on his life and messages.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Omowole
The Postmaster-General of Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST), Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, says the agency is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for inclusive development in the country.
Adegbuyi gave the indication while speaking at the NIPOST Special Day on Saturday, in Abuja.
The postmaster-general, who was represented by Mr Abubakar Usman, NIPOST Zonal Manager, said that the agency had expanded its frontiers in order to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
“The postal sector in Nigeria is an enabler of inclusive development, “he said.
According to him, achieving inclusive development is an essential component of any global economy.
He emphasised that NIPOST was commitment to changing the narrative of postal services by leveraging on innovations for improved service delivery.
“Introduction of a wide range of products and services such as e-commerce, logistics and microfinance collaborations, among others, are the ways NIPOST is leveraging on the latest technologies to transform the postal landscape and satisfy customers.
“The goal of NIPOST, like other postal sectors around the world, is to become a communicating melting point where other value added services are provided aside posting of letters,’’ he said.
Adegbuyi said that NIPOST was collaborating with other agencies such as Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to continue to deliver value added services to the populace.
He disclosed that NIPOST was introducing some reforms that would improve service delivery, adding “we intend to create a ‘24/7’ enquiry platform where customers can get immediate feedback or response.
“The platform will go a long way in attending to and offering solutions to whatever challenges being faced by of our customers,’’ he said.
Edited by Cecilia Ologunagba and ‘Wale Sadeeq
The Post Master General (PMG) of Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, has been slated to speak at the World Postal Business Forum holding on Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Mr Demola Bucknor, Public Relations Officer (PRO), NIPOST, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said Adegbuyi and other stakeholders in postal services would converge to discuss on “The ultimate Networking opportunities and the way forward.“
He said the four-day forum would better position the nation’s courier and service delivery system and assist NIPOST to leverage on its innovations to deliver on its the mandate.
The PRO noted that NIPOST had been in continued collaboration with stakeholders to change the narrative of mail processes, to improve the quality of end user (last mile) delivery of both conventional and e- commerce items.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that last mile is an initiative of NIPOST, where by end users receive their goods within 24 hours.
Bucknor said, “Nigerian Postal Service, in collaboration with the private sector, has ingeniously changed the narrative of mail processes, resulting in improved quality of last mile delivery of both conventional and e- commerce items.’’
He also said that the digital addressing initiative of NIPOST had enabled end users to track their items as it moved between the two e- commerce ecosystems.
According to him, it has also facilitated the ease of doing business between the merchants and the buyers, simplifying the process of payment and postal processes.
Other notable figures that would speak at the forthcoming event , according Bucknor are the Chairman/Managing Director, Qatar Post, Faleh Naemi and CEO, Ukraine Post, Oleksandr Petsovskyi among others, the NIPOST image maker said.
The National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE) has given the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) a notice of three days warning strike starting from Wednesday over welfare issues.
The notice is in a memo issued jointly by the National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees and the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporation and Government Owned Companies to the management.
The memo, signed by Comrade Buba Nehemiah, President of NUPTE, and sent to the Postmaster-General, NIPOST, Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, the union stated that the strike became necessary following refusal of the agency to pay backlogs of allowances.
The union recalled that there had been several meetings between the management and the two unions over the issue without any solution.
It said it was more disheartening to note that the 2019 unpaid allowances had accumulated with the backlog of 2017 and 2018.
“We write to express our frustration and disappointment over the refusal of the management to pay up the backlogs of welfare allowances owed staff members of NIPOST.
“Our patience on this matter has been over-stretched and the staff of NIPOST can no longer bear the irreconcilable promises and counter promises without any redemption.
“To this end, the entire NIPOST workforce has mandated the two unions to Inform the management of NIPOST to pay up these arrears i.e. 2017, 2018 and 2019 rent enhancement on or before 17 July, 2019, otherwise, three (3) days warning strike will commence that day.
“In view of the foregoing, therefore, the management should take responsibility for any industrial action that may be taken in the pursuit of this demand if the three years arrears are not paid as requested before the expiration of the date (ultimatum) given above.”
Edited by Chukwudi Ekezie