Financial Inclusion: NIPOST Steps in with Money Transfer, Agency Banking

As Nigeria joins 54 other member-states of the Pan African Postal Union to celebrate the Pan African Postal Day, which also marks 40th Anniversary of the Union, arrangements have been concluded by the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) through its Financial Service—CBU, to step into the huge arena of money remittances in Nigeria and some other countries around the world.

January 18 of every year is set aside by PAPU to highlight the significant role each country’s postal administration plays in the economic, social, and cultural development of countries and the regional body’s role to promote communication facilities and integration among member countries, translating into accessible, affordable and reliable services to the people in the region.

According to Franklin Alao, General Manager, Corporate Communications, with its huge presence virtually in the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, the Post which has code named its operation- Bank@Post, appears to be poised with this year PAPU theme: ‘The Post- A Veritable Partner For Financial Inclusion and Regional Integration’, joining the region to offer postal services that is an essential part of every country’s economic and social structure.

Financial Inclusion is the delivery of financial service at affordable costs to section of the disadvantaged and low income segments of the society, in contrast to financial exclusion where those services are not available or even affordable.

The term ‘Financial Inclusion’ gained importance in the early 2000 as a result of findings about ‘financial exclusion and its direct correlation to poverty.

Speaking further in a statement,  Alao said, “The appointment of the NIPOST as an International Money Transfer Operator by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) affords the post in Nigeria the opportunity to collaborate and partner with the likes of Western Union, Money gram,and Eurogiro to effectively offer remittance services, using its outlets to be part of over $23 billion that flows in and out of the Country.

“The Super Agency and International Money Transfer Operator status of Nigerian Post have equipped it with technology that will not limit it to postal corridor only but also aggregate world renowned money transfer providers like Western Union and Money Gram into one NIPOST platform.

“Over the years, the Postal sector has been providing postal financial services to people in many countries through its Postal Saving Banks, postal and money orders which hitherto facilitated payments for school fees, money transfers to rural areas from people living in towns and big cities.

“Since 2002, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the world umbrella body for Postal operations has made the access to affordable and accessible money transfer services, a top priority, replacing the paper money and postal orders which Postal administrations used as standard financial instrument with a modern electronic version based on its International Financial System (IFS).

“Today, many Postal Operators are providing a faster, more secure and reliable financial services, having adopted the UPU International Financial System.

“Many Postal Administrations have been able to optimize their domestic electronic money transfer network, thus making the financial component of the world postal network an integral part of global effort to develop economies, create job opportunities, and reduce poverty.

“One of the outcomes of the PPP Project is the establishment of the National Microfinance Bank otherwise known as the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank to be used as reliable channel of getting government interventions to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs”, he ended.

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