The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Thursday, added financial inclusion as part of its services to Nigerians, introducing its own e-debit card, agency banking platform and 27 new logistics vehicles for courier services.
While unveiling the products, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said they will also help the government in improving transparency and fighting corruption.
“It is the first of its kind in Nigeria because it works offline and online, and it is the first time that NIPOST has come up with a solution similar to this and it is indeed a multipurpose card for financial transaction, conditional cash transfer, payment of bills and many more,” he said.
“This is commendable and in alignment with our digital economy for achieving a digital Nigeria. Our target in this country by 2030 is to be completely digitalised.”
He said the NIPOST banking platform will allow NIPOST to conduct financial transactions with most importantly, Universal Postal Union (UPU) member countries.
He added that the banking platform is another innovative solution that will improve the financial system, adding that this is also in alignment with the proposal to come up with NIPOST Microfinance Bank.
“So, this is just like a pilot programme of another subsidiary of NIPOST that will come up soon, that is the NIPOST Micro Finance Bank in which we are to leverage on the existing infrastructure of NIPOST and make sure that our citizens all over the country as long as they have access to the post office, they will be able to conduct their financial transactions,” he said.
The Postmaster-General of the Federation, Ismail Adewusi, said the innovation is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the nation’s postal service to live up to its responsibilities amidst the emerging threats of the digital era.
He urged Nigerians to maximise utilisation of the services and the values that the new NIPOST electronic card has brought to their doorsteps.
“I equally recommend that all take advantage of the unique offerings by our e-Commerce and logistics venture for local and global needs,” he said.
The debit card is expected to boost financial inclusion nationwide, as the cards will be given free to Nigerians at every NIPOST outlet.
Also, the card will function even without the internet and can be replaced easily if stolen or lost.
The banking agency will function similarly like the Point of Sales (POS). The agency said since it has structures in all local governments in Nigeria, it will assist residents of rural areas to improve their financial activities.