NIPOST provides 1,800 Post Offices as Fidelity Bank takes financial services to grassroots
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 Platfrom.”
Bar. Adegbuyi, spoke at NIPOST Headquarters in Abuja, where he 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.
Bar. Adegbuyi, disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently granted NIPOST Super Agency licence which is in principle to operate Agency Banking, saying: “Following the development, NIPOST’s Financial Services Unit was mandated to establish a Financial Services supermarket where customers of various service providers can have access to the products and services, and also develop an Agency Banking framework to serve as guideline for all banks in the country to be part of the system.”
The Post-Master General, said NIPOST’s ‘Bank@Post’ model will help promotes FG’s pro-poor agenda and reduces the risk of travelling miles by customers to transact banking business as this can now be done at the closest post office nearest to them.
Bar. Adegbuyi, added that NIPOST’s launching of the Agency Banking in collaboration with Fidelity Bank is part of efforts to extend financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low income segments of society.
“The Integrated Agency Banking services incorporate the collections of a Treasury Single Account (TSA) on a single platform. With this development, it means that NIPOST customers can also get banking services in the Post Offices nationwide and can deposit and withdraw money, including payment of bills for utility services in Post Offices where these services are available without stress. The collaboration is also an added impetus to NIPOST revenue drive, as it would no doubt boost our revenue profile in addition to traditional postal services,” he said.
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.