Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) says it is partnering with the Fidelity Bank to provide financial service in all the nipost offices in the country to boost financial inclusion.

Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, Postmaster-General, NIPOST, said this at the Launch of Integrated Agency Banking and Treasury Single Account (TSA) Collections in Collaboration with Fidelity Bank on Thursday in Abuja.

This new development will now allow customers to get banking services in the post offices nationwide and can deposit and withdraw money, including payment of bills for utility services in post offices.

The growth of e-commerce has forced many postal administrations to explore ways of expanding their frontiers through collaboration with relevant stakeholders to meet the emerging challenges.

The launching of the agency banking was part of NIPOST efforts to extend financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low income segments of the society.

Speaking at the event the postmaster general said that“The integrated agency banking services incorporate the collections of TSA on a single platform.

“The partnership also avails Fidelity bank the opportunity to expand its network using the over 1800 post office facilities nationwide to take banking closer to the people.

“In line with the Federal Government financial inclusion policy to provide financial services to the under-banked and unbanked populace, who work in the informal sector of the economy without or less access to financial services,’’ Adegbuyi said.

He added that the model also supported the United Nations goal of providing access at a reasonable cost for all households to full range of financial services.

“ Over 47 per cent of Nigerian farmers do not have access to financial services because they are mostly based in rural areas and of the 1800 post offices 70 per cent are in the rural areas”.

Adegbuyi said concerning the benefits of the launch that Fidelity bank now would have its Point- of -Sale (POS) used in NIPOST facilities throughout the country.

“The project has the potential to increase the revenue base of both organisations and enhance the saving culture of the rural dwellers as well as help in mopping excess cash from rural areas,” he said.

Mr Mohammed Balarabe, the Deputy Managing Director, Fidelity bank on his part, said the bank would start the project with 266 branches across the country.

“Fidelity will collaborate with NIPOST to deliver quality banking so that those individuals, who do not have access to banking services before will begin to do so.

“So, we are encouraging everyone to go and try us out and we assure you that you will not be disappointed.’’

Mr Stephen Ambore, Head, Digital Financial Services, Financial Inclusion Secretariat, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said over 36.6 million Nigerians were not financially included.

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According to him, the CBN was committed to ensuring that over 80 per cent of this population was included in all financial services by 2020.

He said that the CBN would encourage collaborations by all to make innovative products available to the citizenry.

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