The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), has offered to give out 1,800 of its post office facilities across the country to Fidelity Bank PLC, in order for the Bank to expand its business network nationwide, especially at the grassroots.
The Post-Master General of the Federation, Barrister Bisi Adegbuyi, made this known at the launching of the Integrated Agency Banking and TSA Collections, a financial inclusion programme which NIPOST collaborated with Fidelity Bank plc to organize.
The event was tagged, “Bank@Post in Collaboration with Fidelity Bank,” and was themed: Unifying Agency Banking and TSA Collections on a Single Platform.”
Bar. Adegbuyi, explained that the partnership between NIPOST and Fidelity Bank is aimed at taking banking closer to the people in line with the Federal Government (FG’s) financial inclusion policy, which places high premium on providing financial services to the under-banked and unbanked populace, who work in the informal sector of the economy without or less access to financial institutions.
He pointed out that the model also supports the United Nations’ goal of providing access at a reasonable cost for all households to a full range of financial services, including savings and deposits services, payment and transfer services as well.
“The internet has taken away the old ways of making money from NIPOST but has also opened exponential opportunities by leveraging on new technology and ICT to tap into current trends of transactions like online purchases”, he added.
He also disclosed NIPOST’s plans to give every Nigerian a digital address that will make easy for to access credit and resolve issues surrounding identity management.
According to him, “this partnership also avails Fidelity Bank the opportunity to expand its network using the over 1800 post office facilities nationwide to take banking closer to the people in line with the Federal government’s Financial Inclusion policy which places high premium on providing financial services to the under-banked and unbanked populace, who work in the informal sector of the economy without or less access to financial services.
“The integrated Agency banking services incorporate the collections of a treasury single account (TSA) on a single platform”, he added.
In his remark, Mr. Muhammad Balarabe, the Deputy Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, said the partnership with NIPOST is line with their strategy for financial inclusion, bemoaning the situation where most Nigerians and 70% of rural folks don’t have access to financial services across the country.
“We want to commend NIPOST for deploying about 1,800 of its Post Offices across the country to bridge the gap of poor or better still, zero financial inclusion at rural areas.
On our part, as a financial institution, we will collaborate with NIPOST to deploy banking services across the length and breadth of the country, so that those in our villages who do not have reliable access to banking services will heave a sigh of relief.
It delights me to inform you that our pilot scheme will commences in about 266 branches, and our people in rural areas will soon begin to enjoy banking services,” he added.
Also speaking, NIPOST General Manager, Financial Service, Mr Mukhtar Baba revealed that government was determined to bring every Nigerian into the formal economy because those without access to banking services cannot have access to funding for their endeavors.
He explained that CBN and NIPOST had been partnering on financial inclusion.