The Postmaster General of the Federation, Dr Ismail Adewusi, has said that plans were underway by the Nigeria Portal Services to open smart offices across the country in line with the Federal Government’s digital economy policy.
Adewusi said this during an interview with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday while on inspection of the NIPOST’s facilities in the state.
The NIPOST chief, who stated that with technical advancement across the globe, letter writing was already out of vogue, said the postal services had initiated creative business methodologies to maintain its relevance.
He said, “We want to be a one-stop outfit where you can do many transactions like collection of your international passport, driving licence, capture your National Identity Card images; all these are the e-governance platforms that we are developing.
“We want to run a smart outlet post office services. It would not be big but you will be able to do all your transactions.”
He added, “We are going to use the new technology platform. Presently, we have the licence to do international cash transfer.
“The citizens will be able to do their online transactions at our smart outlets in pursuit of the digital economy policy of the Federal Government.”
With about 13,000 staff in the 3,000 outlets across the country, he said, “If need be, we will hire more staff for our operations. We will start with what we have and later expand the frontiers of employment.
“After the pandemic, things have been very difficult for the postal services sector. It is not only the sector alone that is affected; it is a global problem.
“During the lockdown, we could not move our mails. That impacted negatively on our revenue. The Nigerian airspace had not been open. These impacted negatively on our operations.
“Mails are reducing as people no longer send letters. The reform is in place to ensure that NIPOST is commercially run as a viable business entity.
“NIPOST Properties and Development Company Limited as well as NIPOST Transport Company and Logistics Limited are already registered.
“We have NIPOST bank being run like a microfinance bank with branches across Nigeria. All of these are new initiatives that we are pursuing.”
He added, “Now, we don’t have enough postal outlets. The ones that we have now were designed several years ago. In Ibadan, we have about eight post offices.
“Ibadan is so large that we need to take our services down to the grassroots where they are needed. Definitely, when we set up those smart offices, working with the private sector of course, we are going to have more than 10,000 outlets all over Nigeria. We have about 3,000 outlets all over Nigeria.”
He added that the main focus at the moment for the postal organisation was to put all its services together and be competitive.