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NIPOST going under says Postmaster-General



The Postmaster-General (PMG) Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) Dr Adebayo Adewusi, has called for an intervention from the Federal Government to save the service from shutting down.

Adewusi said this at the hearing on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that the NIPOST revenue generation has gone down drastically with the advent of COVID-19 in 2020 as it affected 60 to 65 per cent revenue of the organisation which was from exporting mails.

“When you take half of our revenue, that you are saying in essence is that we should shut down business; 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 in comatose, it is just a matter of time before NIPOST dies if no intervention is made,” he said.

He said that as a result reforms made in 2020, a major NIPOST source of revenue was transferred to Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) saying that NIPOST was now looking for alternatives.

The Deputy Chairman of the Committee Rep. Abdulallhi Saidu (APC-Niger) said that he was aware of the difficulties faced by NIPOST.

He said that the Finance Act 2020 stated that, partially funded agencies like NIPOST should pay 50 per cent 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, am aware you have a peculiar and difficult case, but we have a law, the Finance Act,” he said.

Saidu recommended that the finance committee, the supervising committee and management of NIPOST should work together, explore their networks to get NIPOST back on its feet again.

Earlier, the Registrar of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, told the committee that the board was in need of a bailout.

She said that compared to WAEC and NECO, the number of candidates who sit for NABTEB are very few and some state governments who sponsored candidates from their states are owing.

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

The registrar said that monies released to run the agency was barely enough for the board to mobilise and organise examinations annually.

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

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

In a related development, the committee resolved to carry out a status inquiry on the accounts of the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA)

The resolution followed discrepancies observed in NITDA records and records made available by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) on amount remitted into government coffers by NITDA.

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Ericjames Ochigbo

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