Odeyemi Score Card: Decay at NIPOST, an eye sore —President Nigerian Auctioneers



The President of the National Association of Auctioneers, Mr. Musa Kurra, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to save the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST, from lack of competence, self-absentism in office, and staff intimidation, among others.


Mr. Musa Kurra, who called for the sacking of Tola Odeyemi, said the state of abandonment of NIPOST services should not be condoned or entertained again, seeing that the Chief Executive of NIPOST has no credentials to run the organisation properly.


He said her attitude towards managing the organisation did not reflect the renewed hope agenda of Mr. President, stating that the earlier the President acted, the better for his government, insisting that numerous pieces of evidence have pointed out that Tola Odeyemi is not ready for the job and has misplaced the trust of President Bola Tinubu for appointing her in the first place.


It would be recalled that President Bola Tinubu on October 11, 2023, sacked former NIPOST CEO Adeyemi Adepoju and appointed Tola Odeyemi as the new postmaster general. However, things got worse when the new CEO abandoned the NIPOST mandate of mail conveyance and delivery of local and international items at different agencies's posts, which he described as unacceptable.


Kurra said: “We also have evidence that the new CEO only comes to the office when she wants, despite the fact that she is in-country. This shows that she is not ready for the job. Her attitude is making Nigerians, who are losing millions of naira, see the Tinubu administration as a government that is not living up to its mandate of renewed hope.


"We also have evidence that the current PMG hired six personal assistants privately to help her barricade individuals coming for official engagement, including the agency staff and directors in the agency, which is contrary to the civil service rule. 


"As if that is not enough, staff have complaints that she always brings with her personnel of the Department of State Security who are with her to official meetings with management, which they view as a clear threat to participants in the meeting as these DSS personnel intimidate and harass staff who want to express their displeasure with her excesses."


According to him, the PMGs abandonment of customer valuables is more visible at the NIPOST international hub at the Ikeja airports, their office at Shamolu, Wise, and major offices at the state capitals. "There is also an upsurge in court and claims cases against NIPOST by customers whose postal items were left to decay. Just recently, we sited a NIPOST truck on the premises of a court in Niger State. Upon inquiry, we got to know that the truck was impounded as a result of a court case against NIPOST in a suit by a customer whose items of value were not delivered on time and left to rot."


* Renewed hope agenda clocks one year: for NIPOST, it has been eight months of reversed under Ms. Odeyemi.


A staff member of the agency, who preferred not to be mentioned, confirmed claims by Alhaji Musa Kurra regarding the decay in the Nigerian postal service since the new PMG took over in October last year.


According to him, as things stand, it is obvious that the core mandate of NIPOST, which centers on the conveyance and delivery of local and international postal items, is being neglected or abandoned, and this is manifesting in widespread complaints from customers whose items have been abandoned to decay in the agency's offices across the country, especially at the international office within NAHCO in Lagos.


"The NIPOST's dwindling fortunes seem to have been compounded by the unconcerned leadership style of the current Postmaster General, who hardly stays in the office to work and runs exclusive administration.


"Mrs. Odeyemi runs NIPOST with her retinue of non-service personal assistants and security personnel, numbering about eight, to the exclusion of all segments of the agency's staff, junior and senior, including directors and even staff union leadership. These staff hardly have access to the Postmaster General, even on the few days and hours she comes to the office.


"This display of arrogance and unwillingness to work results in the current predicament, which may lead to NIPOST losing nearly 12,000 staff. The agency is one that supports the growth of the Nigerian economy; however, the agency has been turned into a conduit pipe where billions of naira are being swindled, severely damaging the economy." He said


Speaking further, he said that as the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu clocks one year with notable achievements in some sectors of the economy, it has been a tale of woes and reversed hope for NIPOST, its customers, and even staff members under the clueless leadership of the current PMG. 

While lamenting the decay in NIPOST, Mr. Musa Kurra said the last eight years of NIPOST represent a period of unparalleled stagnation or even retrogression in the history of NIPOST.


He posited that between October 2023, when this PMG assumed office, and now, the hitherto rising profile and quality of services of the organization have witnessed a steady and dangerous decline. He decries the PMGs abandonment of the core mandate of NIPOST, which is the collection, distribution, and delivery of postal items, both locally and internationally.


Our findings revealed an upsurge in complaints from NIPOST customers whose postal items have been abandoned for months and left to rot or decay in many of the NIPOST offices across the country. It was gathered that customers had stormed the offices of the PCC, including the headquarters in Abuja, to complain about the manner in which NIPOST failed to deliver important documents or valuables, a situation that also informed many court cases across the states.


Kurra, who is concerned about the deteriorating situation at NIPOST, said, "We recalled that NIPOST quality of services and revenue had started to witness improvement prior to the change that brought Ms. Odeyemi on board." For the past eight months, NIPOST has been on auto-drive while the quality of services and revenue have taken a nose dive. 


"The little revenue of the organization is being spent on maintaining the flamboyant lifestyle of Ms. Odeyemi along with her convoy of cars. About five special assistants recruited from outside, about four DSS operatives, etc. We also learned that she has been using the name of the Honourable Minister of Communication to illegally siphon money from NIPOST.


"We have on good authority that late last year a gathering was organized at the Shehu Musa Yar'adua Center, where her selected friends and cronies from the private sector were invited, but many key staff and directors of NIPOST, including the unions, were left out. Her explanation was that the event was organized by the Minister; however, she turned around to pressure some staff of NIPOST to inappropriately pull out millions of naira from NIPOST to cover the cost of the event.


"We gathered from some of the unions that currently, instead of coming up with ideas and programs that will uplift NIPOST, Ms. Odeyemi is busy chasing her contacts in the Villa and National Assembly to secure a change in the NIPOST Act amendment that has been in the National Assembly for about three years, in such a manner as to empower her to alter NIPOST structure, retrenched NIPOST staff, and bring in her cronies from outside as executive directors and principal officers.


"It is a known fact that structure is not and has never been the real problem of NIPOST. The problem is purposeful leadership, as was provided by the late Alhaji Argungu of blessed memory and lately by Hon. Adepoju. The last eight months have been a wasteful period in the life of NIPOST. Ms. Odeyemi has displayed a lack of capacity and a deficiency in knowledge, experience, and character to lead an organization of NIPOST size and complexity. She is a square peg in a round hole.


"To President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and her contacts in the Villa and National Assembly, we urged you to request that Ms. Odeyemi submit her score card for the past eight months. If she does, it would be noticed that all the ideas, programs, and activities NIPOST has been running are those developed by successful predecessors relying on the same system and structure she is seeking to recreate at greater cost and with less prospect of benefit to the nation." Mr. Musa Kurra said as he appealed to Mr. President to see Ms. Odeyemi as a mistake that needed to be corrected without further delay.

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