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Business News

NIPOST ignores Minister’s e-payment order, collects cash on stamps, other services

NIPOST has remained defiant to the order of FG on the immediate termination of cash transactions in post offices across the nation. #NIPOST #E-PAYMENT #PoS 

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NIMC. Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami, 5G network, NIPOST defiant to FG’s instruction on cash payments  , How the NCC’s Strategic Management Plan Will Drive The Digital Economy, FG set to commission National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Abuja

The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has remained defiant to the directive of the Federal Government through the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, that it should terminate cash transaction with immediate effect in post offices across the nation.

Findings revealed that several post offices had not complied, as they collect cash for sale of stamps and parcel posts.

in its defence, the management of NIPOST argued that cash payments are only allowed for N50 and N100 postage stamps, and parcels charge less than N1000. But some post offices, especially in Abuja, still reportedly collect cash for postal charges above the said amounts.

 

NIPOST defiant to FG’s instruction on cash payments  

Bisi Adegbuyi

In a report  published by Punch, it was noted that purchase of stamps and parcel posts were still being paid for in cash.

Meanwhile, Nairametrics had published that the management of NIPOST disclosed that the service was trying its best to get rid of corrupt officers, who tampered with people’s packages and committed other forms of atrocities, before the directive that was issued on the 6th of November by Pantami.

The minister stated that dishonest individuals were taking unfair advantage of the cash payment system in NIPOST, hence, he ordered Bisi Adegbuyi, the country’s Post Master-General to ensure that all NIPOST outlets had Point of Sale (PoS) available to facilitate the implementation of the directive.

[READ MORE: Fidelity Bank and NIPOST to extend financial inclusion to rural areas]

Members of the general public and all customers of NIPOST were encouraged to insist on the use of PoS or bank tellers transactions when conducting business with the Nigerian Postal Service.

NIPOST, however, disclosed that it had provided PoS machines to all its office outlets but did not have the authority to force any customer to use the PoS when making payment.

 “In as much as we want to comply with the directive, we can’t compel any Nigerian to pay with the PoS,” Director at NIPOST.

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Business News

SpaceX says it’s pursuing necessary licenses to bring Starlink to Nigeria

Broadband penetration of 70% which covers 90% of the population is the FG’s target in its National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.

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Telecoms sector remains resilient as broadband subscriptions climb

American private space exploration company founded by Elon Musk, SpaceX says it is working to pursue all necessary licenses needed to bring the Starlink Satellite internet services to Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Mr Ryan Goodnight, SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa in a meeting with NCC’s Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta on Friday in Abuja.

What SpaceX is saying about Starlink in Nigeria

“SpaceX has been in discussion with NCC virtually over the past several months to begin the process of pursuing all necessary licences to bring Starlink, its satellite-based broadband services, to Nigeria.

Having made substantial progress in the discussion, the commission granted SpaceX’s request for a face-to-face discussion to gain better insights on the prospects,” they said.

The NCC stated that it has listened to SpaceX’s presentation and will review it vis-à-vis its regulatory direction of ensuring an effective and sustainable telecoms ecosystem where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licensees.

“As the regulator of a highly dynamic sector in Nigeria, the commission is conscious of the need to ensure that our regulatory actions are anchored on national interest,” they said.

NCC added that broadband penetration of 70% which covers 90% of the population is the FG’s target in its National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025. This is also in line with its National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2010-2030.

What you should know

Starlink is an internet service launched by SpaceX to improve internet coverage in rural and underserved areas globally. Starlink satellites are over 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites, resulting in lower latency and the ability to support services typically not possible with traditional satellite internet.

Nairametrics also reported this month that the  Federal Government announced a deal with Microsoft through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for the development of high-speed internet infrastructure across the six regions in the country.

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Columnists

What FGN Free Meter Program means for the power sector

Without effective penalties for erring DisCos and consumers, progress may still remain very slow.

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Electricity, Buhari moves against Discos and agents that collect money for prepaid meters

According to news reports, the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh on Wednesday said the distribution of the four million free electricity prepaid meters pledged by the Central Bank of Nigeria would soon begin across the country.

According to him, the government is wrapping up the distribution of its initial one million meters, which he labelled phase zero, and would soon begin the distribution of the four million sponsored by CBN, which he tagged phase two. He also noted that the Federal Executive Council approved N3bn for the execution of six major electricity projects in the country to upgrade Nigeria’s electricity facilities and improve power supply across the country.

Ineffective metering remains a major drawback to the success of power sector reforms in Nigeria. While some consumers avoid paying for power consumed through meter bypass, some other consumers are made to pay for what they have not consumed through estimated billing by DisCos.

DisCos have been largely unsuccessful with metering their customers.

As far as inadequate metering is concerned, DisCos over time, have used this situation to their advantage via estimated billings. It appears that fully metering customers are currently being viewed as a disincentive, given that estimated bills can easily be manipulated.

According to a report by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), only 4,234,759 (40.27%) of the total customer population of 10,516,090 were metered as of 30 June 2020. Clearly, this validates the widely held view that there are a wide number of customers on estimated billing which gives room for illegal connection to the networks and in turn corrupt practices. NERC further revealed that only three out of 11 Electricity Distribution Companies in the country had metered more than 50% of electricity customers under their coverage areas as of June 2020.

Effective metering in our view is one step ahead in solving the myriad of problems embattling the Nigerian power sector. Though supposed to be unpaid for, many customers in a bid to avoid the bureaucracy associated with getting meters have paid to get their own meters. We believe the provision of meters to all end-use customers will go a long way in ameliorating the liquidity squeeze in the power sector whilst also providing cashflow to the DisCos for investment in equipment needed to evacuate unused electricity to consumers nationwide.

We laud the FG’s efforts at distributing meters freely to end-users, but we note that without effective penalties for erring DisCos and consumers, progress may still remain very slow.

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CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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