By Samuel Ohwovoriole
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has stated that the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) is the government institution legally empowered by law to collect revenue on stamp duty. This is according to the Finance Act, 2020.
The Minister stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the unveiling ceremony of 60th Independence Anniversary Commemorative postage Stamp.
“For the first time the Finance ACT 2020 recognized NIPOST as the producer of stamp duty in Nigeria and not only that, stamp duty is to be used in authentication and validation of our official document.
“Our efforts regarding the issue of stamp duty collection with other government Institutions have yielded positive results. NIPOST has been recognised as a government agency with statutory and historical authority to be the producer of stamps and recognised for the collection of stamp duties for validation of financial transactions in the country,” he stated.
“We appreciate Mr President for listening to our complaints, and we extend our gratitude to him and the Senate and House Committees for their intervention in ensuring that justice was done”. He added
Speaking further he said NIPOST will be unbundled in order for it to be more profitable.
“We want to unbundle NIPOST by coming up with some companies starting with the two, property and development company, number two transport and logistics company, these are the two companies that are at the final stage and we do hope that after the two we would come up with NIPOST micro-finance bank, we will leverage on all the offices we have in the country to ensure that we provide financial services to our citizens and others.”
Dr. Pantami disclosed that the government is to removate and rehabilitate NIPOST properties across the country.
” I also started working on our documents to be presented to our boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, with the intention of making submission on how federal government can renovate and rehabilitate our offices all over the country atleast in batches, we start with state capitals and if that is done we move to our local governments.
“NIPOST has many properties but if you visit you will discover that they are dilapidated and this is the best time that government will look into NIPOST and generate revenue for the federal government. As the case maybe, I am working on the documents and I do hope that it will be presented to the Federal Executive Council in addition to many more requests on behalf of the Nigerian Postal Services.”
He noted that the significance of the stamps are deeply rooted in our national history as an independent nation.
“The stamps bring to life, our founding fathers and the roles they played birthing our independence from our colonial masters.
“This set of stamps illustrate the fact that we can achieve greater success, when we are united, regardless of our diverse ethno-cultural and religious differences.”
“These stamps are to be used in authenticating and validating our official documents” he added.
Dr. Pantami also noted that in spite of the enormous challenges bedevilling the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), the federal government is committed to repositioning the organisation to attain its maximum potential in adding value to the economy.
The minister expressed his gratitude to the National Assembly particularly, the relevant committees for their unflinching support in the journey so far and reiterated his commitment in taking NIPOST to unprecedented heights.
“I also want to use the opportunity to reiterate my earlier statement particularly our appreciation to the National Assembly by standing with us during our previous struggle on the issue of stamp duty and all other issues that come up from time to time. we are most appreciative and we do hope that, that support will always be available whenever we need it.
In his welcome address the
Post Master Generalof NIPOST, Dr. Asiwaju Adegbuyi, stated that “Post stamp is a time decoder of our history and a witness to human civilization.
“NIPOST is not relenting in its resolve to meet the needs of all catagories of customers. We have made user friendly stamps in all our offices and other postal stations across the country.
“As we present Nigeria’s 60th Anniversary stamp. I appeal to all Nigerians to pick up some stamps so as to focus on the ideas that we want to focus on and shun the negative tendencies that attempt to divide us. So I enjoin us to imbibe the hobby of collecting stamp as they educate, entertain as well as are profitable,” he added.
The Chairman NIPOST Governing Board, Maimuna Abubakar in her address emphasised on the importance of postal service to the soci-cultural and economic development of Nigeria. “The Postal Industry from time immemorial has fostered the use of postage stamp as a veritable medium for naturing of culture. “Nigeria as a country is amply blessed with historical evidence of great works of arts, cultural monuments and features that help in the transmission of cultural heritage from one generation to another.
“Many of such have been reflected on Nigerian postal stamps, most especially in colonial and post colonial Nigeria. A strong Nigeria, must be a cultural Nigeria and NIPOST has a role to play in advancing this by marking events such as this one” These therefore, underscore the importance of stamps in providing information, education and revenue as well as a source of history.
The economic and social value of Postage Stamp cut across the young and old, as well as the rich and poor. In addition, Stamps serve as excellent gift items, memento or memorabilia.
She added that “I must not fail to mention that only recently, this iconic Nigerian institution survived the crudest form of disinformation campaign involving the deployment of cyber bullies and schumucks on social and conventional media for the sole aim of striping it of its legal role and turning it into a relic.”
In their good will messages the Chairman Senate Committee on Communications, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu who was represented by her Deputy, Sen. Ibrahim Bomai, House Committee on Communications Hon. Akeen Adeyemi, Commended the efforts of the Minister and NIPOST in transforming the postal system and also pledged legislative support to create a reboost NIPOST in line with global standards.