Stories by Olabisi Olaleye [email protected] 08094000013, 08111813040
Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, said at the weekend that the country would reposition the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) for national growth by leveraging on information and communication technology (ICT), especially now that disruptive technologies abound.
The minister stated this during the closing ceremony of a strategic management training for NIPOST staff in Ogere, Ogun State.
According to Shittu,the forum, like similar ones planned for the near future, was a demonstration of the Federal Government’s desire to reposition NIPOST and make it an enviable institution whose success story can be replicated.
“Over the years, there has been a mismatch between planned targets and budgetary outcomes as well as service delivery at NIPOST. This has impeded growth and development in this very vital organ of national communication.
“It is in this context that the retreat was designed to discuss issues around the resolve to reposition the organisation. The retreat also serves as an opportunity to have a general overview of NIPOST within the framework of the ICT strategic road map, its key priorities and deliverables,” he said.
Shittu noted that the retreat could not have been more relevant especially at such a time “when the ICT sector is seeking homegrown solutions to reposition itself in line with present-day realities of the 21st century. I am positive that everyone has had the opportunity to reflect on how we can re-fix and reposition NIPOST for national growth by leveraging on ICT. Repositioning NIPOST brings with it a number of dimensions that must be addressed in a systematic and planned manner, if we are to achieve the desired goal.”
He promised to fast-track the postal reform bill and urged all and sundry to make improvements in ensuring a better mail and financial service sector.
“In the face of fast-shifting customer expectations and technological disruption, we must be on top of our game; we must innovate rapidly. To remain relevant and deliver sustainable superior performance, we need human and institutional capacity development. The workforce needs 21st century skills to stay competitive and relevant in the global, dynamic industry,” he said.
Shittu added that the government was ready to digitalise the workforce.
On his part, Postmaster-General Adebisi Adegbuyi said that it was not totally true that the Internet had crippled opportunities for making money.
However, he was quick to point that postal agencies worldwide have encountered challenges because of disruptive technologies: “Internet has also given us several opportunities in the area of e-commerce, which allows people to shop online and the products have to be delivered to them,” he said.
Service providers list threats to broadband agenda
Tier II telecoms operators in Nigeria have drawn attention to the difficulties that are threatening to cripple their operations with the attendant effect of derailing the broadband plan of the Federal Government. The Tier II operators made up of notable broadband companies in Nigeria have, therefore, asked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to take immediate and decisive steps to avert the looming threat of strangulation, in the broadband segment. The leaders of the Tier II telecoms operators made the call during a visit to the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta in his office at Abuja.
Represented by a high-powered delegation made up of Mr. Godfrey Efeurhobo, Managing Director of Smile Communications, David Venn, Managing Director of Spectranet, Mr. Osondu Nwokoro, Director Regulatory and External Affairs of nTel and Mr. Chuma Okoye, Chief Commercial Officer of Swift Networks, warned of a systemic industry failure threat with likely negative collateral and great socio-economi implications. According to them, the industry is in a situation where all operators are finding it difficult to justify the required investment case for additional CAPEX for network capacity expansion to improve quality of service to customers.
They further noted that the network OPEX of telecommunication operations has sky-rocketed in the last 15 months by over 85 per cent, with revenues remaining relatively flat. Most operators, they observed, are currently struggling with meeting obligations to their suppliers particularly network vendors, tower companies and servicing loan obligations. This trend, they noted, includes even some of the Tier I operators. According to them, a perfect storm is brewing and if not headed off it will end in the collapse of key players in the industry. This is because the domino effect of bankruptcy of any of the Tier I or Tier II operators on the entire ecosystem particularly banking, employment, corporate and SMEs businesses constitutes a major threat to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of government. Such bankruptcy and consequent collapse will also substantially lessen competition, with its attendant deleterious impact on consumer choice and attainment of the broadband objectives of the country.
The MDs stated that the NCC’s declaration of 2017 as the Year of the Telecoms Consumer could be derailed by failure of operators to deliver on the expected quality of service particularly on data throughput and experience due to the weak investment.