As the nation continues in the euphoria of attaining 60th independent anniversary, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on thursday, unveiled and launched two sets of postage stamps produced to commemorate the nation’s diamond jubilee.
The two sets of postage stamps comes in N100 and N500 denominations, designed with the Nigeria at 60 logo with expression of various indigenous musical instruments on it.
The Minister recalled that the production of the postage stamps was the idea of the Presidential Sub-committee on Diamond Innovation and Change which he headed during various events to mark the nation’s diamond jubilee anniversary.
He said; “We came up with about 11 items and this is the last one to be executed out of the items as part of our celebration and reflection.”
He added that the postage stamp symbolizes the unity in the nation’s diversity.
“Our diversity supposed to be our source of strength and not weakness; it supposed to be our source of unity and not disunity.
“This is not just time for celebration but rather time for reflection and appreciation of our diversity”, he advised.
While acknowledging that Nigeria Postal Service, (NIPOST) has been facing challenges and constraints in carrying out its mandates particularly in regards to regulations, policies and financing, the minister disclosed that there are ongoing efforts at transforming the service for efficient service delivery.
He stated that part of the achievements the service have recorded in less than two years in the saddle as the minister include the resolution of the lingering issue on collection of stamp duty which has now been resolved in the 2020 Financial Act that recognised NIPOST as the producer of stamp duty in Nigeria.
“For the first time, the Finance Act 2020 recognized NIPOST as the producer of stamp duty in Nigeria and not only that, the stamp duty is to be used as authentication and validation. It is a clear indication that our efforts have yielded positive result,” the minister explained.
He listed other efforts at repositioning NIPOST to include; formulation of Rule Making policy that would ensure robust regulation and empower the service to make subsidiary legislations, unbundled of NIPOST into two companies-properties; a development company, and transport and logistics company.
“These are the two companies that are at the final stage and we do hope that we will come up with NIPOST microfinance bank. We will leverage on all the offices we have in the country to ensure that we provide service to our citizens and others,” he added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Post Master General, Dr Ismail Adewusi noted that postage stamps are significant for promoting socio-political development of the country.
He stated that all national heroes of the country have been celebrated with the use of postage stamps and it won’t be out of place to commemorate the diamond jubilee with a postage stamp that would “enrich our historical values.”
He maintained that the idea behind the production of the postage stamps promote unity in the nation’s diversity and urged Nigerians to focus on ideals that unite them and shun every divisive tendency.
In his goodwill message, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, commended NIPOST for what he called; “accelerating milestone it achieved in the production of the postage stamp.”
He recalled that the minister gave the directive on September 29, 2020 for NIPOST to come up with commemorative postage stamp, the feat the service achieved in a short period of time.
Mallam Abdullahi noted that the postage stamp would ensure the nation’s journey to digital economy is accelerated as it would play a big role in digitizing the economy.