Tuesday, October 13, 2009


All over the world today, people are celebrating the World Postal Day- October 9th. The postal service in Nigeria, also gives us more reasons to celebrate this day, at least, they have improved their standard of services over the years. Our letters/packages are delivered as speedily as they should (some intact, some tampered with!)- Okay, I admit we still have some cranky staff at the post office that make the postal sector less attractive.

There are those who are always ready to jump on customers at every slight opportunity. Most of the time I visit the post office to buy stamp, check for my mails or send letters, there is always a scene, between the customers and one of the post office staff. It is either the argument is over stamp prices, or the customer is complaining over the unfriendly and non-responsive attitude of the salesperson or the salesperson is blaming the end-users for being disrespectful etc. Perhaps this is a vital area the Nigerian Postal Union might want to address while making plans to ameliorate the sector.

Then, there is the high competition between the electronic mailing system and the snail mail (mail by post). While the email enables communication almost at a speed of light, the snail mail, just like the name implies crawls to its destination. Most people are thus forced to send their messages via email instead of the traditional system of letter writing. But what the postal system is doing quite well uphold the beauty of letter writing culture.

The relevance of the postal service in this 21st century, despite being dominated by technology, cannot be underestimated. However, there is also the valid argument that the postal service sector is contributing to global warming i.e. trees are cut down, to make paper and envelops that are used to post messages.

This year’s message from the Director General of the Universal Postal Union seems to make a lot of sense when he acknowledged that Environmental protection and climate change indeed present major challenges. “But, despite all the attention paid to these issues over the years, our planet and its inhabitants are still no nearer to achieving air that is fit to breath. It has now become crucial to rethink the way our businesses are run and to change our patterns of energy consumption. The world postal sector cannot stand aside and do nothing: delivering 430 billion letters and six billion parcels worldwide each year, and operating over 600,000 postal establishments and as many vehicles makes it a significant producer of greenhouse gas. Like other organizations, we must look seriously at ways of becoming climate neutral.”

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