The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami has unveiled Nigerian Postal Service(NIPOST) Debit Card, Agency Banking platform to deepen financial inclusion and boost Nigeria’s digital economy.
This is coming as the Minister also launched 27 Courier service vehicles to make NIPOST and its partner, Speedaf Express compete favourably in the industry.
Pantami said it is impossible for any economy to be transformed without digitization.
The minister said a digitized economy will improve ease of doing business, improve transparency and fight corruption.
Pantami at the unveiling said the launched services would help NIPOST key into e- governance and a sustainable digital economy.
He explained that the unveiled services will help NIPOST activities align with e-government and set ease of doing business in motion.
He added that the services unveiled will further strengthen Nigeria’s digital economy and improve transparency and fights against corruption.
“We are in the process of digital transformation, transformation will not be possible without digitalisation.
“What we are doing today is to ensure that NIPOST is digitalised so that they will deliver in their mandate by law.
“NIPOST’s Debit card, we are not agitating that it must replace our other debit cards but rather an alternative banking platform. Most importantly this service can be used online and offline. It is complimentary and providing other alternatives, particularly to the people living in unobserved and underserved environments.
“NIPOST exist in so many places where other banks will not exist in Nigeria, because the service is in every local governments. We want to leverage on that, and ensure with use NIGCOMSAT to provide Internet connectivity all over the country in places where there is no ATM machines and banks, and that will be an alternative for the underserved communities.
“There are many economic impact, because when you simplified financial transactions for citizens, you enable them to spend more at the comfort of their homes. Financial transactions have been increasing globally, and this transactions leverage on digital technologies to do. In the case of the presentation, it was mentioned that POS (Point of Services) cost over N6 trillion naira in Nigeria. If there is no POS this will not be possible, there is no doubt it has many impact on us and allow citizens to be at comfort of their villages to do financial transactions,” he said.
He also commended NIPOST management and encouraged them to continue to put in the hard work in driving the FG’s digitization agenda.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Postmaster General /CEO, NIPOST Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi stated that the occasion marked another opportunity to reposition the agency’s services according to best global standards.
According to Adewusi, upon assumption of office two years ago, he inherited seven zones and 108 districts which were running on high operating costs.
“Upon my resumption two years ago, I met the with the management and we made a serious appraisal of the post, including among others, tinkering with the operating structure and reintroducing states territorial management structure under the direct supervision of coordinating directors operating.
“This is, however, all geared towards reducing operating costs, increasing the revenue base and rejuvenating the system with a view to restoring public confidence,’’ he said.
The NIPOST boss said two subsidiary companies were created out of NIPOST in the last two years, which are NIPOST Property and Workshop Ltd and the Transport and Logistics Ltd.
“We equally created the Stamp Denotation and Authentication Department, following the amendment of the Finance Act 2020 which restores the mandate of NIPOST to produce adhesive postage stamps for the purposes of authenticating duties or fees,’’ he said.
A total of 27 logistics vehicles were inaugurated in partnership with Speedaf Express, an international logistics company are expected to cater to e-commerce and speedy delivery of logistics all over the country.
On her part, the Chairman NIPOST Governing Board, Maimuna Yaya Abubakar urged Nigerians to utilize postal outlets for financial and digital transactions.
“Nigeria stands a better chance of achieving a more inclusive form of development when our citizens make it a habit of utilizing postal outlets for social, financial and digital transactions. Even as e-commerce grows, the post has become a delivery platform of choice for online goods orders. Importantly, in spite of the daunting odds against us, NIPOST is striving hard to surpass even what we consider to be record accomplishments,” she said.
Also speaking at event, General Manager Speedaf, Mr Douglas Hu, said the partnership will significantly benefit Nigeria’s economy.
Meanwhile, the representative NIPOST of banking partner, Sterling Bank, Group Head Digital banking, Dapo Alabede stated that agency banking system will capture those yet to be included in the Nigeria’s banking sector.
The recently unveiled NIPOST debit card is geared towards reaching the unbanked population residing in remote areas, the card relies heavily on biometric information of the user like finger prints which means it can work online and offline.
The agency banking platform, which is Point Of Sale(POS)) based is a multi-teller banking system and all products and services are in line with Universal Postal Services standards and are available in all NIPOST offices nationwide.
Culled from THISDAY