Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, on Tuesday said the postal and courier services sector has lost its viability and appears to be ending due to various technological advances.
She said, globally, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) had considerably impacted on the postal and courier sector, though the sector had been seen as a relative alternative.
Mrs Ekuful said this in a speech read on her behalf at the opening of the 2018 Postal and Courier Conference in Accra.The conference is part of the obligations of the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission (PCSRC) to ensure a fair, competitive, vibrant and orderly postal and courier market in Ghana, by adopting a flexible licensing brigade.
It was on the theme: “Taking Advantage of the Technological Advances of the 21st Century in Postal and Courier Services Delivery in Ghana”. She, however, reiterated that there was a concerted effort to improve efficiency, accessibility, profitability in service delivery through the Ministry.
Mrs Ekuful, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, said government would continue to put in place the right policies, which would empower the postal and courier industry to remain relevant and become profitable.
She, therefore, encouraged postal and courier operators in the country to build innovative ideas to make the sector a robust one, capable of delivering world class services. She said the transformation of Ghana’s postal and courier sector into a competitive, regionally integrated, and world class customer-focused for enhanced service delivery was fundamental to achieving the vision of digitisation.
Mrs Ekuful said as part of Ghana’s digital agenda, government was on an ambitious infrastructural development programme with the expansion of the national broadband infrastructure and the provision of total ICT connectivity to unserved and underserved areas.
She said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in October last year, launched the National Digital Property Addressing System (NDPAS), which was a modern approach to locating addresses nationwide as part of several initiatives towards formulising the Ghanaian economy.
The Minister urged private courier operators to take advantage of the NDPAS to improve upon their service delivery.She said the Postal and Courier Sector was transforming service delivery with the private sector at the forefront and that Ghana Post was creating the right partnerships to take Ghana to the rest of West Africa and the world at large through its e-commerce platform, which would soon be launched.
Mr John Oletey Otuteye, the Director of Licensing and Regulations, Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission, said the Commission saw all stakeholders as partners in ensuring the provision of high quality postal and courier services in Ghana.
He said the PCSRC had progressively expanded the postal market for the socio-economic development in Ghana from eight operators in 2006 to 130 presently, adding: “Only this year 18 Operators have been licensed”.
Mr Otuteye said experts in the postal industry had predicted the future of the postal industry to be e-commerce, which depended largely on modern technology. He said digitisation was a factor for growth and enhanced the capacity of postal operators to be more efficient and achieve product innovation, financial inclusion and socio-economic integration.
“All transactions now require the use of computer application, computers and smart phones in digitisation,” he said.
Mr Otuteye appealed to courier and air express operators, who have still not obtained licenses, to formalise their operations by applying for license as the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission Act 2003, and Postal and Courier Regulations LI 2205 required.