By Perpetua Onuegbu/Rukayat Anifowoshe
The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) says it is partnering with the Saudi Arabia Post to deliver cargos and parcels of pilgrims on Hajj from Saudi Arabia to Nigeria.
Mr Dauda Musa, the Director, Planning and Business Development of NIPOST, made this known in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, a lot of Nigerians go to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and while returning, they buy many gifts for family and loved ones that ordinarily will cost them fortunes to transport back home.
He, therefore, said that “post office worldwide is a network and we have only one umbrella called Universal Postal Union (UPU) so whatever we do is universally applicable in all countries.
“A lot of Nigerians go to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and most of them when coming back, buy gift items for their loved ones, family and friends.
“In the process of bringing those things home, they will need a cargo; of course the aircraft that took them to Saudi cannot bring everything they bought home, because there is a specified weight allowed.
“When they send by themselves a lot of problems ensue: addresses are not properly written, also, there is the language on the Items, the Saudi people don’t speak Hausa or English, they speak only Arabic.
“We need somebody who will serve as guide to delegates, even the exchange, our currencies are different, and most pilgrims actually are people with low education in terms of spoken either English or Arabic.’’
Dauda said that all these made it necessary for the two governments to come together and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to make things easy for Nigerian delegates, “therefore, we are partnering with Saudi Government.
“First and foremost, we talked to our people who bring their items there and guide them on how to fill the necessary forms, to do the weighing and how to pay when those things arrive in Nigeria.
“We distribute them to their various addresses anywhere in Nigeria; as long as the items are given to us in Saudi Arabia, we deliver to the owners either to the house or the closest post office to the house.
“A lot of people used to complain that if they don’t send the items via NIPOST that it takes months before it arrives, but with NIPOST, they get it, some even before they get to Nigeria, their items are already waiting for them at home.”
The director said that the collaboration was such that Saudi Post would provide the logistics in terms of the weighing scale, the vehicle to carry the cargo to the airport and pay the airline who would carry it to Nigeria.
He said that the understanding was that Saudi Post would pay all that was required to be paid for the deliveries and only pays NIPOST inland rate, adding that “the pilgrims don’t pay NIPOST any additional fee.”
Dauda said that the collaboration had helped to forge closer and better ties with the Saudi Government and generate better revenue to the government.
The management of NIPOST signed an MoU with the Saudi Arabian Government on pilgrims’ cargo handling from Saudi Arabia during the 2018 Hajj. (NAN)