By Sanni Onogu, Abuja

A Bill seeking to reform the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) by establishing a Nigeria Postal Commission scaled the second reading on Tuesday in the Senate.

Titled: “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Postal Service Act Cap N127 LFN 2004, and Establish the Nigeria Postal Commission to make comprehensive provisions for the development and regulation of postal services and for Other Related Matters, 2021,” the Bill was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC Lagos Central).

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In her lead debate, she said: “By passing this Bill, we will not only be ensuring that our postal services are carried out in line with international best practices, we will also be sending a signal to would-be investors that we are an investment haven.

“This Bill will serve as catalyst for local and foreign postal investment while attracting skilled personnel in the field.

“This Bill will, in an age where it has become necessary to ensure that our agencies are self-funding, improve revenue generation to Federal Government’s coffers.”

Senator Tinubu said the Bill was aimed at reforming the nation’s postal industry to make it a more viable entity.

She said: “Today, the agency has over 955 post offices and more than 3,000 postal agencies in the 36 states of the federation.

“NIPOST has been touted as having so much potential not only for revenue generation but also for impacting the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

“However, the agency’s struggles are well known. With its apparent inefficiencies, advancement in technology and the introduction of electronic mail, there has been a decline in demand for traditional postal services, thus necessitating a reform in the agency’s mode of operation.”

Among the provisions of the Bill, the senator said, is the “administration and planning of two national postcode system in line with global addressing standards of efficient mail delivery”.

She added: “At the moment, many addresses are almost impossible to locate, thus making doorstep deliveries a huge task.”

Senator Tinubu explained that the “Bill seeks to establish a Universal Postal Service Fund, which shall be funded via appropriation from the National Assembly, contributions to the fund by the licencees, etc, to be applied for the deployment of subsidised postal services and infrastructure to the non-served and undeserved areas”.

In their contributions, the senators supported the Bill and approved that it be read for a second time, when it was put to voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The Senate President referred the Bill to the Senate Committee on Communications for further legislative work and for the committee to report back in four weeks.

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