Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) says its financial inclusion intervention is geared toward supporting the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), contribute to poverty alleviation and reduce unemployment in the country.

Mr Franklyn Alao, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Alao said that the organisation was committed to providing effective and reliable postal services to its esteemed customers, in accordance with its operational statutory mandate.

According to him, this has become imperative to bridge the divergent needs of the modern customer.

He added that the notion that the organisation was abdicating its core mandate to operate microfinance bank as alleged in some quarters was misleading.

He explained that “the microfinance bank being contemplated is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Bankers Committee and the Nigerian Incentive Risk System and Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

“The Microfinance bank is not going to be managed by NIPOST, but by an independent management which has no direct relations with NIPOST’s operations.

“The use of NIPOST outlets for the NIRSAL microfinance bank is an initiative of the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers Committee and NIPOST,” he said.

The general manager said that the objective was to bridge the financial intervention gap between government and intended targets.

He stressed that “NIPOST is, therefore, not floating a bank nor abdicating its core mandate.”

Alao said that the micro finance banks created through the collaboration would be accommodated in the post offices providing services to the people, while NIPOST rendered its own postal business.

“NIPOST is leveraging on ICT to introduce innovative services tailored to the needs of customers in line with international best practices, which are also in tandem with Universal Postal Union (UPU) guidelines.

“These services include agency banking, e-commerce, Digital Addressing System (DAS) and Address Verifications System (VAS), which are real time address location solutions in Nigeria.

“Talking about core business of NIPOST, it should be noted that apart from mail and parcel, financial services has also been our mandate right from inception.

“The fact that post offices can be used to deepen financial inclusion made CBN to grant the office Super Agency Licence to make banking and other modern financial services available in every post office.

“Such services are mostly rendered in areas where there are no banks, and this happens to be the rural areas where 70 per cent of post offices are located.”

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