Senate restricts NIPOST to postal operations

House surrenders to Senate

The Senate, on Tuesday, passed the Nigerian Postal Service (Repeal and Reenactment) Bill, 2021, which effectively restricted the agency to only postal operations in the country.

The Bill also unbundled the agency by creating a commission to regulate its affairs.

The lingering controversy between NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as to who is statutorily empowered to collect Stamp Duties on behalf of the Federal Government also appeared to have been laid to rest in favour of FIRS as there is no provision in the Bill as to who will collect the tax.

Presenting the report, Committee Chairperson, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC -Lagos), said sub-clause (1)(a) under clause 3 that deals on membership of the governing board of the NIPOST were amended to empower the board to formulate policies for the development of the postal sector.

According to her, sub-clause (1)(b) was deleted as the board cannot borrow or raise funds for the entity while sub-clause (1)(c) was amended to align with current legislation.

She said clause 5(2) was also inserted to specify minimum qualifications for appointment of the Postmaster-General

Other amendments made to the NIPOST Act 2004, was an amendment to clause 15 which deals with National Postcode System and Technical Standards.

The clause was amended to enable the public postal operator, subject to existing legislation, to enter into a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or similar partnership to execute any of its mandates.

Senate amended sub-clause 3 to provide that the minister may, with the approval of the President at any time remove any member of the board from office on reasons of misconduct, conviction, infirmity, or disease of the mind.

It also amended clause 5(1) to make the appointment of the Postmaster-General the exclusive prerogative of the President as against the recommendation of the minister.

The amendments followed a proposal by Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (APC- Delta), and seconded by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC-Niger).

Senate also at plenary received a report of the Committee on Public Accounts on the annual report of the Auditor-General for the Federation on accounts of the federation for the year ended Dec. 31, 2015.

The report was laid at plenary by Chairman of the Committee Sen. Matthew Urhoghide (PDP-Edo).

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