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WINDHOEK: Information and Communication Technology Minister Joel Kaapanda says negotiations are ongoing with relevant authorities to establish a fully-fledged Namibia Post (NamPost) Limited Bank.

Kaapanda said this in Parliament on Tuesday whilst motivating his ministry’s N.dollars 566 million budget allocation for the 2014/15 financial year.

“The negotiations with the Ministry of Finance and consultations with the Bank of Namibia are underway to create a fully-fledged NamPost Bank,” he stated.

This was in response to Deputy Defence Minister Peter Iilonga’s question whether Government could not establish a State bank linked with NamPost.

“NamPost’s savings bank is doing well, but needs to grow bigger,” Iilonga said at the time.

Kaapanda said the government has identified financial inclusion as an important objective and target.

Thus, NamPost has put in place mechanisms which will allow it to deploy postal infrastructure in such a way that it will increase its participation in ensuring access to affordable financial products.

In its efforts to take postal and savings’ services closer to the people, especially in the rural areas, NamPost will open five new post offices during the course of this year.

These new offices will be opened in the Ohangwena, Omusati, Khomas and Otjozondjupa regions.

This will bring the total number of post offices to 141 countrywide.

Kaapanda noted that NamPost is also in the process of introducing business centres across the country with the aim of providing access to basic computer and Internet services to the public, using postal infrastructure.

“Plans are further afoot to cooperate with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in the sale and distribution of NBC-branded Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) set-top boxes in order to ensure the widest reach,” he continued.