Edem Edem, Calabar Nigerian Postal Services, NIPOST, in the Cross River State territory says it is partnering with banks to bring banking services to rural dwellers in the state to afford them the opportunity to access loans to boost agricultural and small scale business activities.
Mr Christopher Utuk, the Area Territorial Manager of NIPOST who stated this during the 2015 World Post Day celebration in Calabar said several millions of Nigerians resident in rural areas have no access to banking facilities which accounts for the need to partner with banks to reach them since NIPOST has a wide branch network across rural areas of the state.
“This partnership is bringing the rural population majority of whom have no access to banking facilities into the mainstream of the Nigerian economy through our rich post office network”
Mr Utuk said the idea of the partnership is for banks with few or no branches in rural areas to utilise NIPOST facilities in those areas and serve their customers in a secure and convenient environment.
“Here in Cross River we are partnering with a number of banks and consulting with some to key into the Central Bank of Nigeria initiative to extend their banking services to rural populace and this rich network will afford small and medium scale enterprises in the rural areas the opportunity to access loans and boost their businesses” The Area Territorial Manger said NIPOST has 1500 departmental post offices across the country while in Cross River State, there are 18 departmental post offices, 6 counter extensions, 9 postal agencies and 11 post shops and therefore well equipped to offer customers best services.
He said ICT has enhanced the performance of NIPOST as the boom in e-commerce has given seen the utilization of its vast network for the distribution of sold or items bought online by people within and outside the country.
“The post has actually and rapidly responded to the dynamics of technologiy by turning what it perceived as threat to its existence to opportunity for growth and effective customer satisfaction” Mr Utuk who lamented the high indebtedness to the agency by government establishments and agencies in the state appealed for payment of the debts to enable It meet its obligations and also offer better services to them.
He said in spite of the enormous challenges faced by postal services, NIPOST has forged on with the introduction of products to replace the traditional mail services offered in the past.