Industrial crisis looms in NIPOST over appointment of new head
The traditional succession process of former headsman of the post is about to be jettisoned which is now causing some disquiet in the organization.
The office became vacant last month when Ibrahim Mori Baba retired after eight years in the saddle. The most senior Deputy Post-Master General (DPMG), Enoch Ade Ogun had stepped in as acting PMG.
Although there are other six other DPMGs and no fewer than 45 senior assistant post-masters general, it was gathered that the parent ministry, Ministry of Communication Technology, has moved to change the succession process by seeking approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to advertise the post.
The senior staff union is worried that the decision to open the door to all-comers is a ploy to scheme out the top managers of NIPOST in favour of an outsider who may reverse all the gains made by the establishment in recent years.
Top in consideration is the new impetus to boost revenue generation through the strict enforcement of the Stamp Duties Act, a scheme that is capable of earning an excess of N3 trillion for the Federal Government in a year.
“The drive for improved revenue in fact is part of NIPOST’s financial inclusion plan and strategic co-operation with the Central Bank of Nigeria’” a sources said.
The plan is designed to re-position the Service in line with the challenges posed by ICT especially the advent of mobile phones in the country as well as the increasing global competition.
Indeed, the former PMG, Baba Mori at his valedictory had noted that NIPOST adopted new technologies for its operations with the advent of ICT. He also disclosed that 70 percent of post offices across the country had been equipped with ICT facilities.
Sources hinted that Baba Mori had actually recommended that his successor be picked from among the crop of well-trained top managers he left behind to allow for continuation of the re-positioning process.
Beside the possible distortion of the succession plan, that is the tradition at NIPOST, workers are also apprehensive that Nigeria’s status may nosedive at the Universal Postal Union if an outsider is appointed the PMG.
“A new head at NIPOST will require about four years to learn the norm and to understand the workings of the global body,” a source within NIPOST said.
Analysts cautioned the President to avoid generating another political ‘bad blood’ by unwittingly sidelining other ethnic groups in the appointment of new heads of government agencies.
The late Abubakar Argungu occupied the seat between 2005 and was succeeded by Baba Mori, both from Kebbi State.
The President of the Senior Staff Association of Communication, Transport and Corporations (SSACTC), NIPOST chapter, Gabriel Imafidon, said the plan to advertise the position of the PMG is unacceptable to the association.
His words: “The law empowers the President to exercise his powers to appoint the PMG. By advertising that position, the President is ceding his authority to another person or a group of persons to think on his behalf.