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UPU and Postal Development

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Universal Postal Union with membership of 191 countries is a specialized agency of the United Nations which fulfils an advisory, mediating and liaison role and renders assistance where necessary. The body sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail volumes and to improve the quality of services for customers. The UPU’s objective is to develop special, cultural and commercial communication between people through the efficient operation of the postal service.
 The UPU in order to discharge its duties very well is divided into bodies that are assigned with specific functions. The congress is the highest body of the union and it brings together all countries to a meeting every five years. The major achievement of the congress is allowing member countries to develop and integrate new products and services from the international postal network.
There is also the council of administration consisting of a chairman and forty member countries and it ensures the continuity of UPU activities between the congresses, even as it also interfaces in regulatory, legislative and legal issues making sure that things are working in order.
The postal operations council of the UPU is the technical and operational body that deals with operational and commercial aspects of international postal service while the international bureau is another organ of the UPU that serves as a liaison, information and consultation for postal administration.
The Universal Postal Union established in 1874 has helped so many member countries including Nigeria to develop their postal systems. It would be recalled that the world postal body gave a grant to Nipost which was used to purchase additional fleet of vehicles to boost Nipost’s operations. UPU has helped in the advancement of postal economies in the less developed and developing countries looking at practices in the developed countries as benchmark. New trends in technology and administration are shared by the body to member countries. Through its conferences, postal heads of various countries are gathered to brainstorm and learn new developments in the industry and other issues that affect the free flow, growth and development of international mail, trade and commerce are resolved.
With its headquarters in Berne, Switzerland and as a non political organization, UPU does not interfere in issues that are within the purview of national postal services. Its primary focus is for cooperation among postal sector players and it helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services. During high –level debates in conventions, UPU has helped in shaping issues in the postal industry.  With its Quality of Service Fund (QSF), projects aimed at improving postal service quality in developing countries are financed by the body and the results have been tremendous.
Even as UPU has been making efforts to develop postal services all around the world, it is still curious that postal awareness in Africa is still very low. In a report carried by the UPU, it was reported that the industrialized countries had 98 percent of the population benefit from home mail deliveries while only 2 percent have mails delivered through post office boxes while in Africa only 22 percent benefited from home deliveries with 60 percent  only having mails delivered through post offices. 14 per cent out of this number had no access at all.
Looking at the figures, one would only but wonder what the challenges to increasing the volume of mails handled by postal countries in Africa really are. Taking Nigeria as an example, some people don’t send or receive even just a letter all the year round. Our reading culture is poor and we hardly have any room for relaxation in this part of the world as every effort is channeled to making money. Apart from the business angle to writing of letters, letter writing is a hobby whose reward is emotional satisfaction. The development of Information and Communications Technology has also affected people’s attitude towards going to the post to send letters. Postal organizations in Africa have also to sit up and be effective in mail deliveries. People are often disenchanted n writing letters when letters posted often take weeks to get to destinations or in some cases are not received at all.

Nigerian Postal Service in order to promote letter writing in the country can come up with a programme that will reward those that write and post letters.

 

 


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E-Financial

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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E-Financial

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Broadcasting

UBA Launches ‘RED Radio’, New Online Entertainment Platform

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United Bank for Africa, (UBA Plc), Pan- African financial institution, has continued to lead in innovation with the launch of its dynamic and creative Online Radio channel – RED Radio.

UBA Launches ‘RED Radio’, New Online Entertainment Platform

RED Radio, powered by UBA is a lifestyle web platform that has been set up to inform, educate, entertain and to bring to the fore, the best of Africa.

Much like its sister platform, REDTV, RED Radio is expected to showcase the best in lifestyle, entertainment, music, news, comedy and fashion.

Speaking on the launch of RED Radio, Tony O. Elumelu, group chairman of UBA,  applauded the creative initiative, emphasising that UBA is a financial institution always ready to support  creativity and entrepreneurship. The 2020 Time 100 most influential person in the world who has committed USD100 million to empowering young entrepreneurs across Africa said about RED Radio, “Creativity and innovation are a powerful combination and every detail in an art piece is important and meaningful. This applies to growing businesses and budding entrepreneurs. You will encounter challenges, like I did, but each experience is a lesson that brings you closer to your goal. That is the beauty of creativity.”

Continuing, Elumelu remarked, “There are many ways to make something beautiful, to make a sound interesting or to bring a story to life. You can define your expression, and today, as UBA’s RED Radio launches, I wish Bola Atta and her enterprising team many successes through this beautiful medium of expression.”

In appreciation of the support of UBA Group Chairman for the exciting creative initiative, Bola Atta, UBA’s group head, Corporate Communications, said ‘just like, REDTV which is Africa’s leading  online entertainment network, RED Radio is positioned to fast become the foremost online radio platform in Africa’.

Also expressing his delight, UBA’s Brand Ambassador and star boy, Wizkid, said, “I am never too busy for my UBA family as he granted an exclusive interview on one of the station’s flagship shows ‘On the Street’ where he spoke extensively about his upcoming album and what his fans should expect from him in the coming weeks.

RED Radio promises to bring rich and engaging content that will keep its audience coming back constantly for vibrant and robust entertainment. Listeners can tune in to www.itsredio.com 24/7.

 

 


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