At the plenary on Tuesday, the Nigerian Senate passed the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) repeal and re-enactment bill, 2021 after consideration of the report of the Committee on Communications chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC – Lagos).
The bill seeks to restrict the agency to only postal operations in the country and to unbundle NIPOST for efficient service delivery.
Presenting the report, Tinubu, said sub-clause (1)(a) under clause 3 that deals on membership of the governing board of the NIPOST was amended to empower the board to formulate policies for development of the postal sector.
She said that, sub-clause (1)(b) was deleted as the board cannot borrow or raise funds for the entity while sub-clause (1)(c) was amended to align with current legislation. She added that clause 5(2) was also inserted to specify minimum qualifications for appointment of the Postmaster-General.
Section 2 subsection 1-3 of the Bill however effectively barred NIPOST from engaging in tax collection.
The section reads: “There is hereby established a body to be known as the Nigerian Postal Service (hereby designated as the Public Postal Operator) which (a) shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal…
“The Postal Operator shall be charged with the responsible of providing Universal Postal Service in Nigeria.
“In carrying out its Universal Postal Service Obligations, the provisions of any enactment, law or regulation relating to taxation of companies, agencies or trusts funds shall not apply to the Public Postal Operator save for its obligation as a collecting agent of Government.”
Other amendment to the NIPOST Act 2004 includes:
Clause 15 of the NIPOST Act 2004 which deals with National Postcode System and Technical Standards was also amended.
The clause was amended to enable the public postal operator, subject to existing legislation, to enter into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) or similar partnership to execute any of its mandates.
Senate amended sub-clause 3 to provide that the minister may, with the approval of the President at any time remove any member of the board from office on reasons of misconduct, conviction, infirmity or disease of the mind.
Also, clause 5(1) was amended by the chamber to make the appointment of the Postmaster General the exclusive prerogative of the President as against the recommendation of the minister.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.