Senate Mulls New Law To Privatise NIPOST

The Joint Senate Committee on Medium-Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy is considering proposing legislation for the full privatisation of the Nigeria Postal Service to improve its efficiency.

Senator Sani Musa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and head of the joint panel, made this statement during a hearing where the Postmaster General of the Federation, Tola Odeyemi, presented NIPOST’s 2024 budget.

During the session, Odeyemi faced criticism from senators for projecting a personnel cost of N18 billion for NIPOST’s 16,000 workers nationwide, up from N13 billion in 2023. Senator Musa expressed concern about NIPOST’s lack of noticeable presence across the country amidst this significant personnel cost increase.

Despite the Postmaster General’s explanation attributing the rise to the Federal Government’s recent hike in personnel costs for federal workers, Senator Musa remained unconvinced.

In defense of NIPOST’s existence as a partially funded federal agency, Senator Ireti Kingibe, a member of the joint panel, argued that every nation deserves to maintain its own robust postal service.

She said: ” NIPOST should not be scrapped but should be turned to a revenue-generating agency. The only thing is that the agency was stuck in the 19th Century analogue operation instead of migrating to digital services.

that the agency was stuck in the 19th Century analogue operation instead of migrating to digital services.

“There is nothing stopping NIPOST from digitalising their offices across the country to offer electronic services for Nigerians, deliver government services at all local government areas and even engage in financial services.

Shortly after Kingibe concluded her statement, Senator Osita Izunaso spoke up in disagreement with her. Izunaso contended that NIPOST, in its current setup, should not be supported if the country aims to generate revenue to finance its yearly budgets.

Ruling on the matter, the chairman of the joint panel said: “NIPOST should have been fully privatised before now because nobody is feeling its impact anywhere in the country.

“We are ready to recommend to the Senate in plenary the full privatisation of the NIPOST, except the Postmaster General convinces us otherwise.

“The CEO of NIPOST should forward to the secretariat of our committee details of her business model and how the agency would be generating adequate revenues for the country through creative ideas.

“Failure to do this would leave the Senate with no other option than to recommend the full privatisation of NIPOST.”


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