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Monday, August 22, 2011

Global postal sector is undergoing unprecedented change – PMG

The Post Master General of the Federation, Mallam Ibrahim Mori Baba has said that the global postal sector is undergoing an era of unprecedented change.

Speaking at the 2011 Bulkpost annual customers’ forum and lecture in Lagos, Mallam Mori Baba said that this unprecedented change is greatly impacted by the continuous reduction of mail volumes spurred by the rapid evolution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

Postal organizations, he said have realized the need to change their business models in order to survive.

According to him, changing customer behaviour driven by digital solutions and the increasing use of the Internet are altering the business of postal operators.

The implications, he said, of these changes are several including an imperative for the Post not only to secure the traditional mail business but also to quickly master the digital world and seize the emerging opportunities.

“The signs, however, are positive; a wave of innovative products and practices are building up, while many examples of diversification away from dependence on the mail already exist.

He expressed optimism that NIPOST would align itself to the desired objective in providing customers’ quality service that meets international best practices.

The forum with the theme ‘The Dwindling Volume of Document Mail: Repositioning the Post for Quality Service and Profitability’ attracted industry captains, especially from the courier and capital markets, including the national coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) as the guest speaker.

ITRealms Online recalls that historically the Post in Nigeria started in 19th century with the first post office established by then British Colonial Masters was in 1852, which was considered to be a part of the British postal system.

Regarded as a branch of the London General Post Office and this was the situation till 1874 and 1862 when the Post Office began its career as a full fledge Department , the Royal Niger Company (RNC) which was actively involved in economic activities in the country, set up its own postal system in Akassa in 1887, Calabar in 1891, Burutu in 1897 and Lokoja in 1899. Mails were being moved from these trading stations to and from Lagos by a weekly mail boat.

In 1898, the British Post Office established post offices at Badagary, Epe, Ikorodu, Ijebu-Ode, Ibadan and Abeokuta. In 1892, the Royal Niger Company became a member of the Universal Postal Union. By 1908, Money Orders and mail were directly exchanged with the German West African Colonies instead of via London, as it was the practice.

In 1925, Royal Airforce planes flew from Kano to Cairo carrying mail for the first time outside the country. From January 1, 1900, the Southern Nigeria Government took over the responsibility of running the postal system in the entire country. There were not too many good roads in those days as such mails were conveyed by canoes, launchers and runners which could only operate at intervals of two weeks or less.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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