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‘We’re comatose’ — NIPOST laments low revenue, seeks support

  The Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) has appealed for a special intervention to prevent the agency from shutting down.   Ismail Adewu...

 


The Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) has appealed for a special intervention to prevent the agency from shutting down.

 

Ismail Adewusi, postmaster-general of the federation, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at the hearing on the 2023-2025 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper (MTEF/FSP) organised by the House of Representatives committee on finance.

 

Adewusi explained that the agency’s revenue has gone down drastically with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as it affected 60 to 65 percent revenue of the organisation which was from exporting mails.

 

“When you take half of our revenue, what you are saying, in essence, is that we should shut down the business,” the postmaster-general said.

 

 “The truth of the matter is that our cost of operation is higher than our revenue. Last year, we had a deficit of about N1.7 billion.

 

“The way we are today, NIPOST is comatose, it is just a matter of time before NIPOST dies if no intervention is made.”

 

According to Adewusi, the agency generated N3.9 billion in 2021 but remitted nothing due to a shortfall from its projections.

 

He explained that as a result of reforms made in 2020, a major source of revenue for NIPOST had been transferred to Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS), but added that NIPOST was now looking for alternatives.

 

He said that a couple of products had been developed to advanced stages while expressing optimism that when they become fully operational, the agency’s revenue would improve.

 

In his remarks, Abdullahi Saidu, deputy chairman of the committee, said he was aware of the difficulties faced by NIPOST.

 

He said the Finance Act 2020 states that partially funded agencies like NIPOST should pay 50 percent of their revenue into government coffers.

 

 “For us not to be seen breaching the law, it is expected that we make an exceptional case for NIPOST. I am aware you have a peculiar and difficult case, but we have a law, the Finance Act,” Saidu said.

 

He recommended that the finance committee, the supervising committee and the management of NIPOST should work together and explore how to get the agency back on its feet again.

 

Also appearing before the committee, Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, registrar of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB), said that the board was in need of a bailout.

 

She said that compared to the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO), few candidates sit for NABTEB and some state governments who sponsored candidates from their states were owing.

 

Isiugo-Abanihe said the examinations are conducted on credit for the state governments involved, out of hardship and the need to encourage them and the students to take the examinations.

 

“Since 2021, 25 percent of our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is deducted at source in the government coffers; right now the examination money is not available to conduct exams,” Isiugo-Abanihe said.


“Income that was earned four or five years ago and has now been paid is still deducted; we do these exams on credit out of hardship and to encourage them to take the exams; we need a bailout.”

 

The committee ruled that NABTEB should mobilise and get more candidates to sit for the examination to increase income while trying to recover all liabilities before the end of September.

 

He said if the liabilities are not recovered, NABTEB’s account should be blocked and monies recovered should be paid into government coffers.

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