An official of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has said that the agency signed a deal with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to open a microfinance bank in all post offices across the country.
“About 50 outlets have been opened so far,” the official told The Daily Report at the General Post Office in Jos. “So on completion there will be 774 branches altogether, since there is a post office in every local government.”
The bank is called NIRSAL MicroFinance Bank and a signboard bearing that name is visible near the post office’s entrance (facing Ahmadu Bello Way).
The official also said that contrary to widespread belief that NIPOST is irrelevant and couldn’t compete in the age of internet and ICT, technology is actually aiding NIPOST’s operations.
“We are active online as well and we have a section dedicated to that,” he said, pointing to a three-person team in a corner of the main hall.
“When we receive parcels and mails, the details are immediately entered on the system and tracking details generated. We also input details of senders and receivers, so we can reach either party when necessary – foe instance, when parcels are not delivered and need to be returned.”
On the day The Daily Report visited and took a brief tour of the facility, a van was pulling out of the premises and headed to Shendam LGA in Southern Plateau State.
“Our vans go across the state almost daily. This one will return tomorrow, with letters and parcels for distribution where necessary,” the official said. “We also have another vehicle that goes from Jos to Abuja and back.”
The official also made a clarification between the EMS and Speedpost arms of the agency’s operations. The former, he said, is for international deliveries while the latter is strictly local.”
The post office boxes, he confirmed, are also still very much in use. Owners still operate them and there are more available for anyone interested to own one.
“NIPOST is a member of the International Postal Union, and as such we ensure that we keep to international best practices in all that we do.”