- NIPOST Set up Panel to Probe Contract Scam
The Nigerian Postal Service has disclosed that it will set up a committee to verify possible contract scams within the organisation as payments for contracts have been made without anything on the ground to confirm such.
The Postmaster General of the Federation, Mr. Bisi Adegbuyi, made the disclosure when the Senate Committee on Communications led by its Chairman, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, visited the NIPOST headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday for oversight function.
Adegbuyi pleaded with the National Assembly to quickly pass a new bill seeking to amend as well as expand the scope of the 2004 Stamp Duties Act.
The plea confirmed the report that the Federal Government had sent a bill to the National Assembly to correct some grey areas that formed the bone of contention in an Appeal Court ruling that electronic transactions were not captured in the law.
Disclosing that the government was spending N6bn annually on NIPOST personnel, Adegbuyi regretted that for a long time, the government did not allocate funds to the agency for capital projects, adding that it had to rely exclusively on revenue generated internally.
The NIPOST boss also regretted that several government Ministries, Departments and Agencies preferred to patronise private courier operators to doing business with the postal organisation.
He said, “The Postal Sector Reform Bill that seeks to create an independent regulatory body and corporatise the Designated National Postal Operator into a diversified service provider with more revenue streams is indeed the most important aspect of the reform process.”
“Another area requiring the attention of this distinguished committee is the amendment of the Stamp Duties Act of 2004 to reflect current realities. This is also crucial in view of the quantum of revenue it is expected to bring to the dwindling coffers of the federation.”
Adegbuyi added, “As a government institution, we ought to enjoy the patronage of other government MDAs, particularly when our services are very competitive and comparable, if not better than those of our competitors.
“Strangely, however, many government MDAs prefer to patronise private providers instead of keeping public funds within the government. We, therefore, solicit your support to overcome this challenge as practised in other climes.”
In his speech, Nnaji said NIPOST could still survive in the age of Information and Communications Technology if the right policies and decisions were taken by the leadership of the organisation.
He stated that a bill for the reform of the postal system had passed through first reading in the Senate and expressed confidence that it would soon be passed into law.