One would think that by now the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) would have phased-out especially with the advent of the digital age and the availability of better but pricier alternatives like DHL, UPS, etc. Although they provide an important service, this service is plagued by the lack of right tools, poor remuneration, infrastructure, confusing street numbering system, and poorly motivated staff who seem to have contributed to its ineffectiveness. But as problematic as it is, the Postal Service is one of the most important institutions in this country, and they deserve appreciation for their scale, reach, and affordability.
Handling over 33 million pieces of mail in a year, comprised of about 63% domestic mails (see Viz above ), NIPOST offers widespread coverage for accessing their services to the entire country for low and standardized prices. They employ ordinary Nigerians who depend on the organization for their livelihood, providing the much-needed channel for communication and courier services to secluded areas that would not be worth the trouble for private businesses especially for rural areas where broadband is not commonly available.
With e-commerce platforms springing up rapidly in the country, there is a perceived window of opportunity for NIPOST to address logistics and delivery issues experienced by e-commerce operators in Nigeria. In order to provide this assistance, NIPOST has already launched its partnership with KONGA and PAGA to promote operational efficiency and is expecting more partnerships in the future. Furthermore, the organization has been restructured by creating an e-commerce department to exploit advertising. It has also remodeled the postal organization for efficient service delivery.
Like many government parastatals, we are well familiar with the inefficiency and frustration of receiving their services, but we do not stop to think or even dare to grasp the huge amount of work and logistics needed to provide these services in very imbalanced situations. NIPOST is not a dying industry, it’s far from it. We should not simply just wish it away without thinking of the deep and lasting consequences that its absence would create, but require the organization to harness all the new opportunities opening up to it and adjust their workings to account for the fact that demand for its services is diminishing.
This chart sums up key figures about NIPOST:
It can be seen from the Viz above that most of the organization’s revenue comes from stamp duty, followed by EMS speed post and there was no data available for commission on postal/money order. The organization has over 900 post offices across the country, 376 Post shops, 304 Postal agencies etc. It is noteworthy to also mention that there are a few states with no Post Office boxes and Private mail bags, they include, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Nassarawa, Gombe, and Ekiti – it might be a case of missing or no data.
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