The Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST), has been working to advance e-commerce and improve its postal system to catch up with the changing business environment and competition posed by technological advancement.
NIPOST is now set to introduce a digital postcode system where parcels and mails are properly addressed with the right postcodes thereby raising home deliveries within the next few years.
The postal agency said the new system, apart from being more accurate than traditional street addresses, was simpler than landmark-based directions, easier to remember and communicate with online.
Nigeria’s Postmaster General, Dr Ismail Adewusi , said NIPOST was pleased to collaborate with the National Population Commission (NPC), to adopt a digital addressing solution with the huge potential to unlock opportunities.
Adewusi added that the digitalised postcode system would speed up economic activities and improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
He also said better addressing was key to NIPOST’s agenda, which aims to transform, innovate, and deliver more services to more people all over the country.
According to him, “ NIPOST was embarking on an initiative to ensure that every street has a name and every house had a recognizable number to facilitate government operations for the community towards a digital economy.
“ This will also simplify delivery of products and services from individuals and companies when the owner of the house orders.
“ The intention is to reach out to the people everywhere, in every local government and remote areas of the country.
“ Even when an individual has a problem like a fire incident, then help would be easy to implement, because of street names, house numbers and postcodes.’’
With hundreds of parcels and couriers handled daily across the country, financial analysts say the e-commerce market is currently worth billions of dollars and there is still huge potential for growth.
Mr. Oluwatoyin Dada, A financial engineer said with improvements in infrastructure and investments in innovation around payment systems and a reliable addressing system, Postal services have a critical role in building a strong economy.
Dada added that NIPOST is equally focused on the future, and taking steps to modernise and grow their capacity and range of services in the e-commerce ecosystem.
Dada also said that the use of postcodes would reduce online fraud as there were unfaithful people who abused lack of clear addresses to commit fraud since they could not be traced.
Mr. Silvanus Tembe, who trades in clothes in Lagos is one of the many owners of online businesses that rely on day to day communication with customers in many parts of the city.
He said he has been spending a lot of money and airtime to direct a delivery person when sending a product to a destination because most customers do not have clear addresses.
“ Once postcodes are well established, a driver can deliver the product without much hassle to the home or office of the customer, hence less delivery costs,” he said.
Ms Hauwa Goro , a seller of aromatherapy products said the postcode development would simplify delivery of her products because most of her customers want it delivered to them at home.
“ Some of my customers addresses cannot be found easily making them cancel their orders and coming in person due to the nature of my products.
“ Implementing postal codes at this time will be right, that means the businesses will grow more as deliveries will become easier.
“ Delivery charges will drop, time will be saved and extra mobile costs will drop,” the businesswoman said.
She said, ”if NIPOST were to rollout digital addresses countrywide, then this would for sure help the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and boost online businesses.”
The postal code also known as postcode refers to a group of numbers or letters which are added to a postal address to assist the purpose of sorting mails and parcels.
The new Nigerian Postal Codes are alphanumeric; web-based and can be used on Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
The code of each region in Nigeria is captured in the postcode, while the second and third digits when combined with the first, make up the dispatch district for easy delivery of items.