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NIPOST to deploy agency banking in rural areas

By The Citizen

The Nigerian Postal Services (NPS) says it will deploy agency banking for financial inclusion of unbanked rural dwellers and its customers in suburban communities within its areas of coverage.

Speaking with journalists at the 2016 merit award for 2025 deserving workers, the Postmaster General of the Federation, Mr. Bisi Adegbuyi, ruled out the possibility of establishing its own banking subsidiary in order to cater for the banking needs of its customers in rural communities.

He said NIPOST would rather go into agency banking in accordance with the advice provided by its consultants.

Adegbuyi said giving the nation's present economic circumstances, establishing a post bank as had been done by some countries would not be feasible but added that plans were underway to explore agency banking.

According to him, a cocktail of payment settlement services would be the best route to take to cater for the needs of rural dwellers that had been excluded from traditional banking services instead of establishing a full banking subsidiary.

The NIPOST boss also disclosed that the postal agency was making efforts to tap the immense opportunities that that had been created by new technologies which have taken life out of one of its core mandates of delivering letters.

Adegbuyi said new technologies have created 10 times more opportunities for the postal services in parcel delivery than the life they have snuffed out through email services.

He said, 'Whether a country needs a post bank is a function of its peculiarities. There is a post bank in India. There are no post banks in Kenya and the United States of America.

'What we will do here in Nigeria, having looked into our peculiarities and circumstances, is to go into agency banking.

'If commercial banks today are closing some of their branches in rural areas because of innovative technologies, I don't think that it is right for us to establish post bank in the country. What we will rather do is to do agency banking that will increase our revenue.'

He added, 'We have been laying foundation though nobody will see sees it immediately. I have been working with men and women to bring about operational efficiency of Nigerian postal services. That calls for deployment of innovative services and technology.

'We are currently talking to ICT experts on how to reduce the recurrent expenditure content of NIPOST's budget. With technology, NIPOST will improve its track and trace operation which is the soul of the service anywhere in the world

'We want Nigerians to post letter or parcel and be able to track it on day-to-day basis. We are migrating from the old analogue system to Universal Postal Union's recommended International Postal System.'

The NIPOST boss said that although finance was a major issue confronting the postal system, he said efforts were being made to address the challenge in order to reap the immense potential presented by electronic commerce.