BPE Not Privatising NIPOST, Says DG

By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Director General Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh clarified on Wednesday that the ongoing reform of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) is not privatisation of the entity but to unbundle it into viable subsidiary companies.

Speaking while inaugurating the sub committee of the main implementation committee in Abuja, the BPE boss said the main entities will operate on the principle of commercial viability, while the core postal service function will remain with NIPOST as the parent company.

The Director General named the three commercial ventures to be carved out of NIPOST as NIPOST Properties & Development Company; NIPOST Transport & Logistics Company and NIPOST Microfinance Bank Limited.

He said the clarification became necessary to disabuse the minds of many Nigerians especially the workforce of NIPOST that the commercialization, reform and modernization of the organization was out right privatisation.

Okoh said that in line with the reform process, the Bureau had completed the registration of NIPOST Properties & Development Company and NIPOST Transport & Logistics Company at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) while the process for registration at CAC and also that of obtaining regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for NIPOST Microfinance bank had also commenced.

The Director General reiterated that the benefits of the reform of the sector include, the Provision of efficient postal services and utilisation of vast assets of NIPOST across the country; reduction in funding from the treasury in terms of subventions to NIPOST (c. N7.2 billion) and the operation and growth of ancillary services and business to enhance the overall efficiency of NIPOST to create more jobs.

He said the Sub-Committee to be chaired by the Director, Industries & Communication, BPE, will includerepresentatives of the Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, Ministry of Finance Incorporated and NIPOST.

According to him the duties of the Sub-Committee include, creation and adoption of an implementation plan and charting the course for implementation of KPMG’s Final report; Initiate strategies to be adopted in the implementation of the NIPOST reform programme and the establishment of the three companies; Implement the approved objectives of the NIPOST reform programme; and make recommendations to the Implementation Committee.

The Committee has a timeline of four months to complete its assignment.

Recalled that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) inOctober, 2017, approved the reform of the Postal Sector and the restructuring and modernisation of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST).

The NCP also approved the constitution of a Steering Committee to be chaired by the Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, to drive the reform process and review the Postal Sector Policy; the constitution of a Project Delivery Team (PDT) to serve as the secretariat of the Steering Committee and to develop quick fix reform strategies to make NIPOST commercially viable as well as appoint KPMG as Transaction Adviser.

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