SIR: Your editorial ‘’Postmaster General Or Banker?’’ on Monday, May 6, with the rider ‘Instead of opening 2000 MFB outlets, NIPOST should focus on its core mandate’ not only created the erroneous impression that NIPOST has been issued license to operate Microfinance Banks but also portrayed the Postmaster General of the Federation, Barrister Bisi Adegbuyi as someone who is veering off his official mandate in pursuit of a different agenda.
Inadvertently , perhaps , or, due to misinterpretation of piece of information available to your office, the article did not explain the role of NIPOST in the collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), The Nigeria Incentive based Risk sharing System of Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to drive the federal government finance inclusion program. NIPOST management is therefore worried that such a report is capable of creating erroneous impression that NIPOST is abdicating its mandate of providing efficient and reliable postal services to its esteemed customers and Nigeria at large.
For the records, NIPOST has not been issued for the operation of Microfinance Banks. The MFB in question is an initiative of the collaboration between CBN and the Bankers Committee and NIPOST was identified as one of the agents to implement the project. The 2000 postal outlet which the postmaster general spoke about are the excess capacity in the post offices across the country which will be made available for the operation of the Microfinance Banks fully owned and sponsored by the CBN and the Bankers Committee. In other words, NIPOST is providing accommodation to the MFBs for the disbursement of loans rural famers as well as provide banking services to the unbanked in the those communities. This is a global practise of postal administrations which is supported by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the regulatory authority of postal services. The CBN is targeting about 500,000 agents to ensure maximum coverage and reach to the rural communities, that which is a clear indication that other agencies with the capacity could be enlisted.
It is necessary to explain here that ever before, the activities of the postal sector are helping to improve the economies of many nations The Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) has evolved greatly in the last three years with the modernization of post office counter operation with the installation of modern ICT facilities to ensure that we provide postal services in the with international best practices. The federal government should be commended for recognising postal outlets as veritable channels through which economic, social, financial and digital opportunities could be extended to the broadest range of the citizenry.