Hajiya Simbiat Onize Lawal is the senior Asst. Postmaster general corporate communication of Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST). In this Chat with Daudu Emmanuel, she speaks on the development and challenges facing the Agency. She encourages Nigerians to make use of the efficient service of the Agency. Importantly, the needs for Nigerians to develop writing skill, especially the Children.
As head of Communication, do you see daily interaction with journalists stressful?
It is not stressful at all; I am part and parcel of them. I work with journalists, how then can I think they are stressful dealing with? It is always a pleasure having them around.
How do you see Nigerians perceptions about NIPOST?
I would not know what the perception is but what I do know is that NIPOST is a postal organization aspiring to be the world class postal service deliverer of mails worldwide, and aspiring to satisfy all stakeholders need- postal service, product and services.
How is the organization working to satisfy the Nigerian masses?
We are just human being in the labour division, you will agree with me that the human desire is very unstable, you can never be able to satisfy human being to an extent that everyone will say “they are excellent”, everyone must always have something to hold against . As human, we have our shortcomings, so NIPOST is trying it’s very best to give the best service delivery, Using the innovation that technology brought to enhance our products and services so that the customers ,stakeholders , and everyone that is connected to us is satisfied with our delivery. But satisfying everybody is what I don’t think is possible but what I do know is that we strive as possible as we can to give the best we can to all our customers, stakeholders and even the public and the international community too. We also make sure we put smiles on our workforce to enable them do their jobs with total dedication so they can deliver excellently.
How efficient is NIPOST?
It is similar to what you have asked; I can’t score myself but am sure the public would score us real good via the efficient and up to date rendition of services. NIPOST is connected to 192 postal services in the world ,meaning if you post a letter that is going to India ,we post it through Nigeria postal service ,the Nigeria postal service will carry it from here and take it to New delhi, India and our host will begin distributions just as when the US postal service sends a mail to Nigeria, they post the mail in New York, and others ,it gets to the post office and the office carries it into Nigeria domain, and once it gets to the Nigerian domain ,NIPOST will carry it round the 774 local governments in the country. Our network is everywhere, because we are connected round the country and beyond, no Courier service has such connectivity.
Courier service is only limited to service delivery from one township to the other; they can’t penetrate the hinterland as NIPOST does. NIPOST has no limits as we cover all parts of the world not letting the ‘localiest’ village or hamlet out of coverage.
We do all of these at a very minimum cost , why?, because we have social obligation to make communication possible and easier across the whole world. So coming to postal service in Nigeria is as good as coming to the right place of efficient delivery and optima satisfaction without an element of regret.
What are the challenges NIPOST faces?
For every success you got to walk on rough roads, sometimes we do walk through the rough roads and one of which is the fact that we do not have serial numbering of houses and streets. Secondly, is the infrastructural challenge. If the rail is working like they used to work, it would have carried some of our mails thereby reducing cost of transportation and in turn reducing the cost of posting. The roads are not very good, and vehicle could breakdown; it could also be that there is heavy hold-up somewhere and just can’t move for hours, all of these and many more could affect our delivery system. But however for mails that are time sensitive, we use air transport or EMS and in such cases, there would be little or no delays.
These are the major challenges but we are presently working on that in conjunction with the present administration.
What advice do you have for Nigerians?
I was at the trade fair in Abuja and I got friendly with children and I gave them an opportunity to write me letters. I got three letters from kuje secondary school and are all apology sorry to say that, but that’s the truth. The children can’t even stretch conversation and the highest writer of paragraphs was three paragraphs and I gave them five pages of letters base on that two paragraphs, why?, because I have written over time . If you don’t create a habit of writing, you can’t sustain conversation, and it helps in communicating in good grammatical tenses, but if they don’t, then they don’t make a complete sense, and that’s the truth.
Nigerians should learn to write letters ,encourage children to write letters to their parents requesting what they need, write letters to their proprietress, proprietor and even write public opinion ,because appreciations have eaten up the writing aspect of education. The schools should also learn to send results of pupils and students through the postal service instead of giving them or sending it through email. The issue about email is that mails can get lost probably when there is update on the site or even mistakenly delete of files in the system but mails got through the postal service can’t be lost.
Nigerians should also try to imbibe the culture of writing ,do you know that Nigerian students don’t know the following alphabets for example “Y, G, J, etc.”?, in does days we do handwriting in schools and that subject should be brought back so that our children can learn how to write and write well. I use to write letters for my villagers right back in my primary school days, I also encourage parents to call their children ,sit them down ,speak the native language and ask them to write it in English ,this are actually ways to teach our children a writing culture.
we need more of the likes of Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe, as such I encourage Nigerians into writing of letters and posting them using the Nigerian postal service which is NIPOST.