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By NBF News
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A new postal service system which will enable Nigerians to receive and transfer money to their relatives and loved ones in any part of the world is about to take off in Cross River State. The Postal Manager in charge of the Cross River State Postal Territory, Mr. A.E. Nwankwo disclosed this on the occasion of the 2011 World Post Day/Customers Forum held in Calabar.

Nwankwo said as a pilot phase of the project in Africa, Cross River and the Republic of Cameroon had been chosen for the initial take-off of the project, which would be extended to other states in the country and other African countries.

Meanwhile, he said the method was already in vogue in the United Kingdom, Asia, United States, Latin America and other European countries.

The postal manager said the initiative was in line with their determination to reposition the Nigerian Post to exploit opportunities offered by the ever-changing world of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which many people now see as a threat to postal products and services.

He said the authorities of the Nigerian Post were out to correct the wrong belief by some people that the post office system had gone extinct and replaced with global system mobile (GSM) phone, urging members of the public to see ICT and the post as playing complementary roles in communication service delivery.

Apart from the need to facilitate speedy transfer of money across to various countries of the world, he said the rationale behind the project was to reawaken the culture of letter writing among students, alleging that a survey had shown that since inception of the GSM, most graduates from Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions no longer speak good English or write brilliant letters.

He lamented that the act of writing letters in schools, which was common among pupils and students, had been discarded as a result of sending of text messages, phone calls, e-mails and face book messages and other Internet activities.

Commenting on the improved Nigerian Postal system, he said 'NIPOST in conjunction with Galaxy Backbone Plc. has linked up all post offices in the country to the Internet, and are now operating an automated counter service that enables the senders of information to track and trace the movement of letters, parcels and other postal products on-line without any encumbrances.

'The emergence of the Internet system has strengthened and complemented government's efforts in efficient service delivery to customers,' he said.

Nwankwo asserted that on-line postal services had not only given the Nigerian post a facelift but had gone a long way in improving the lot of its workers as the sector now generates more funds.

Enumerating achievements of the NIPOST, he said 'we have introduced a dedicated parcel venture service, which enables Nigerians to send and receive their cargoes from any part of the country,' saying, 'we have a clean record of these services from our numerous customers across the country.'

Although the NIPOST company was said to have recorded tremendous feat in recent times, he lamented that their postal businesses were still below the benchmark, as most post office boxes and private mailbags were still lying fallow without being rented or renewed by members of the public.

In Cross River State, he said there were about 13,992 post office boxes, out of which only 5,484 had been rented, leaving a balance of 8,698 boxes unrented.

He appealed to interested members of the public to apply for their post office boxes and private mailbags, as 'our customers can now rent/renew their post office boxes on-line.