The Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST and the Sierra Leone Government, through the Ministry of Communication, Technology, and Innovation, sought collaboration on a postal sector transformation strategy.
This was disclosed when Sierra Leone’s Minister of Communication, Technology and Innovation, Salima Bah, recently paid a working visit to the Postmaster General/CEO of NIPOST, Tola Odeyemi, at her office.
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Communication, Technology and Innovation, who appreciated the Postmaster General for the warm reception, also commended the Federal Government of Nigeria on the various initiatives to drive the digital transformation of the postal ecosystem.
She said that the postal sector plays a crucial role in the socio-economic development of nations by facilitating communication, trade and financial services. However, she acknowledged the numerous challenges the postal sector faces, which include declining mail volumes and increased competition from electronic communication channels. Hence, she stressed the importance of strategic partnerships to enable both nations to explore viable potentials by leveraging technology and innovation to create a tech ecosystem to drive transformation.
Odeyemi, in her response, said NIPOST is the primary provider of postal and related services in Nigeria. Given its historical prominence, the organization strives to adapt to the changing business environment.
Odeyemi said declining revenue, obsolete infrastructure and limited technological advancements have hindered the growth and relevance of the post.
She noted that the emergence of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, the Renewed Hope Agenda and the strategic digital transformation policies of the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, under the dynamic leadership of Bosun Tijani, NIPOST’s business model is leveraging strategic partnerships and innovative technology to promote trade and market development.
Recognizing the need for modernization, both NIPOST and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Communication, Technology and Innovation aim to collaborate on a postal sector transformation strategy. The primary objectives of the collaboration are to enhance service quality by leveraging technology and innovation and to improve the speed, efficiency and reliability of postal services in both countries, expanding financial services.
The collaboration will explore opportunities to provide financial services through the postal network, including mobile banking, remittances, and microfinance. In addition to strengthening infrastructure, the collaboration intends to invest in upgrading and expanding the postal infrastructure, including postal offices, sorting centres, and delivery networks.
Importantly, the partnership will work towards creating an enabling environment for e-commerce, focusing on facilitating cross-border trade and enhancing last-mile delivery capabilities.