A postal code is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes including spaces or punctuation, included in a postal address for the purpose of sorting mails. One wouldn’t know how the codes are generated, but as secondary school students in the 90s and early 2000, most especially those in their penultimate years, it was imperative for us to know off-hand the postal code of our community, better still our residential area postal code.
Back then, we always rushed out at the sound of ‘the postal man is here’. A lot of youth were familiar with the operation of the Nigeria Postal Service. This is because it was only through the postal service you could get the results of your external examination (JAMB, WAEC), your admission application status, information about scholarship applications, and other related services.
However, as time went by, things were not the same for the postal service. The Nigeria Postal Service, which was established by the colonial masters in 1852 gradually lost its glory. The postal offices that used to be hub of commercial activities, where residents and people from neighbouring communities converged on to transact all manner of businesses, from buying postage stamps to purchasing or cashing money orders and virtually everything, lost this glory as a result of leadership problems facing the country.
Divided into zones, with unique postal box addresses, Nigeria Postal Services were the darling of every Nigeria elite in those glorious years for movement of confidential parcel within and outside the country. NIPOST was well known for its reliability and safe delivery tendency even though there were occasional delays.
However, as time went by, inefficiencies gradually marred the operations of the postal service. This became evident when delivery of parcel seemed almost impossible; when your money order is trapped in the system and could no longer be redeemed, when it seemed like you can only receive your message in heaven as impossibility became the case.
Then, the public trust in the service began to vanish while patronage reduced drastically (even though the international community still requested for postal code during transactions) and then, the post office buildings became desolate.
As if that wasn’t enough, the advent of technology then crushed the leftover of the postal services glory. The short message services and the electronic mail, both promising an instantaneous acknowledgment with a light speed like became widely adopted.
Understanding the limitations of sending messages over technology, the emergence of private courier services, such as FedEx, DHL further decimated the strength of the Nigeria postal services if there were any left.
The success attached to the private courier services, however, further lay credence to the fact that, while the electronic media has its place in the scheme of sending information and other related services, the conventional means of sending parcel as represented by the Nigeria Postal Services if properly managed with the introduction of the state-of-art instruments equally has its place.
Understanding this dynamics, the Nigeria government in 2016 appointed a new Postmaster General/CEO for the Nigeria Postal Services. Barrister Adebisi Adegbuyi, in line with its diversification agenda and employment creation vision.
Following his appointment, Barrister Adegbuyi immediately embarked on the reform of the Nigeria postal services with the introduction of additional four business services (financial/digital services, Logistics/E- commerce, properties/workshop and the NIPOST training institute) having realised that the entire operations of the agency revolved around mail services.
For effective service delivery, Barrister Adegbuyi embarked on digitization of the system with the introduction of the latest version of the international postal system and other 21st century systems that can enhance the effectiveness and standardization of the Nigeria postal services.
Evidently, this has yielded a lot of results and received commendations from those who have been privileged to use the services of recent. The data released by NIPOST on revenue generation further attested to this facts.
However, does this mean that all is well with our postal system? Is this the peak of the potential and strength of the postal service? The answer is definitely ‘NO’ as there is still room for improvement. But one thing is clear; Barrister Adegbuyi has been able to revamp the operations of NIPOST.
In line with efforts to improve on the efficiency of the service, I would like to draw the attention of the management to the following issues:
Service Delivery; having acknowledged the improvement on the service delivery, it is important to note that much is still left to be done in this area. One of the unique factors of the private courier services is their ability to deliver according to the pronounced time of delivery. This doesn’t only bring about trust, it as well promises reliance and confidence boosting. So, it is important for NIPOST to further improve its delivery service – this will further boost patronage.
Publicity; Nigeria postal services over the years had lost its glory; the process of rebuilding it must, therefore, include adequate publicity. The public need to be informed of the new services rendered by the agency and the achievements it has recorded in the meantime. No doubt, this would aid patronage thereby increasing the revenue generation and possibly create more employment opportunities.
Legislation/Presidential Order; I feel there ought to be an order or legislation mandating Government Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals to patronise NIPOST. This will increase the agency’s revenue generation, and also attract private customers to the agency.
Economically, as the country tow the path of diversification, it suffices to say that our population is enough a strength for diversification if properly maximized through prudent management of our systems and potential sources of revenue such as the Nigeria Postal Services. A country of about 200million people should be generating huge revenues from its postal service.
If we must go to the next level, we must be there with systems that promote the country’s image and existence.