11 Functions of Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) brings to your knowledge the NIPOST and its functions and strides towards quality service delivery.
Historical Background of the Nigerian Postal Service
The history of Nigerian Postal services dates back to the 19th century. The maiden post office was founded by the British Colonial Masters in 1852.
The establishment of the post office was considered a part of the British postal system. It was a branch of the London General Post Office and this lasted till 1874.
When the Post Office commenced its obligation as an independent Department, the Royal Niger Company (RNC) which was involved in economic activities in the country, established its own postal system in Akassa in 1887, Calabar in 1891, Burutu in 1897, and in Lokoja in 1899. Mails were moved from these trading stations to and from Lagos by a weekly mail boat.
In 1898, the British Post Office set up post offices at Badagary, Epe, Ikorodu, Ijebu-Ode, Ibadan, and Abeokuta. In 1892, the Royal Niger Company became a part of the Universal Postal Union.
By 1908, Money Orders and emails were directly exchanged with the German West African Colonies instead of via London, as was the case.
In 1925, Royal Air force planes flew from Kano to Cairo conveying mail for the first time outside the country.
From January 1, 1900, the Southern Nigeria Government grasped the responsibility of looking after the affairs of the postal system in the entire country.
There were not too many good roads in those days as such mail was conveyed by canoes, launchers, and runners which could only operate at intervals of two weeks or less.
The first post office in Northern Nigeria was set up and located at Lokoja in 1899. While mail delivery was formerly the focus of the business, British Postal orders were sold and uncashed from 1907 in post offices located at the headquarters of all District Commissioners.
Internal AirMail flights started in 1931. By 1906, 27 Post Offices were operating and at the time of independence in 1960, 176 Post Offices, 10 sub Post offices, and 1,000 Postal agencies were in the country.
At independence in 1960, the post was administered together with Telecommunications as a government department. Thereafter, post office establishments and services grew in leaps and bounds.
The Federal Government of Nigeria by Decree No. 22 of 1966 declared the department a quasi-commercial organization, a step towards making it more efficient and responsive to public needs.
The Nigeria Postal service Department came into existence with the establishment of Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) on January 1, 1985.
NITEL emanated from the blend of the Telecommunications arm of the defunct Post and Telecommunications Department of the Ministry of Communications with the former Nigeria External Telecommunications Limited (NET).
Through the promulgation of decree No. 18 of 1987, NIPOST became an Extra-Ministerial Department.
Functions of the Nigerian Postal Service
In response to the call to grant NIPOST some levels of autonomy, the Federal Government promulgated Decree 41 of 1992 and classified NIPOST as a Government Parastatal.
Some of the functions of Nigerian Postal Service thereafter included:
- Providing and operating facilities for the collection, and distribution of inland and overseas mails at a reasonable cost.
- Providing and operating facilities for the remittance of money through the money or postal order systems.
- To provide and operate philatelic (stamp-related) services in Nigeria.
- Printing and providing postage stamps for payment of postage tariff and payment of stamp duties.
- Developing, promoting, and providing adequate and efficiently coordinated postal services at reasonable rates.
- Maintaining an efficient system of collection, sorting, and delivery of mail nationwide.
- To make provision for various types of mail services to meet the needs of different categories of mailers.
- The establishment and maintenance of Postal facilities of such character and in locations consistent with vital economics will enable the generality of the public to have ready access to essential postal services.
- To represent the Federal Republic of Nigeria in her relations with other Postal Administrations and International bodies.
- To determine the necessity for Post Offices, Postal facilities, and equipment as it may determined.
- To establish and review Postal Tariffs.
Over the years, the Nigerian postal services (NIPOST) has spearheaded the dissemination of emails across Nigeria and has successfully done that through its different subunits working together towards making this a reality.
Such efforts by the Nigerian Postal services are indeed commendable and worth emulating.