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Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales, third from left, cuts the ribbon with chairman of the TT Postal Corporation (TTPost) Ahmad Hakeem during the launch of Track and Trace at the Piarco headquarters, yesterday. Also in the picture, from left to right, Aaliyah Hosein, deputy chairman Michael Seales, Anastacia Samuel and managing director, Francis Lucien Delpesh.

Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales said it’s time for the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation (TTPost) to become financially sustainable.

At the launch of the corporation’s new ‘Track and Trace’ system in Piarco yesterday, Gonzales told those present that TTPost should no longer depend for its survival on financial assistance from the government but learn to adapt to remain financially viable and relevant.

“Change is already upon us…depending on annual state subventions will soon be a thing of the past,” he said.

Gonzales said as a young minister, on a weekly basis, he sees the financial numbers and realises how urgent it is for utility companies to become financially sustainable.

“Because at the end of the day we need a TTPost and we need all our utility companies despite our financial challenges,” he said.

The Minister said the new Track and Trace system was set against the nationwide rollout of the postal code.

Gonzales said the corporation needs to transform into an efficient, agile service provider equipped to meet the nation’s changing needs.

“This is necessary if TTPost is to survive and thrive,” he said.

He said the challenges faced by TTPost were not isolated to here alone, as structural changes affect the global postal industry. This he said was propelled by advances in information and communications technology and changing consumer behaviour.

“The arrival of COVID-19 pandemic only served to exacerbate these challenges,” he added.

But the chairman of the Corporation Hakeem Ahmad said despite the pandemic the overall courier business grew by 49 per cent and the domestic courier business increased by 67 per cent in the last fiscal year.

He said this increase will assist in reducing the corporation’s dependence on Government’s support and the introduction of this new system was one of several initiatives taken by TTPost in the last year to improve customer service.

“The board has already taken steps to deliver a five-year strategic plan for the corporation,” he said.

Ahmad said serious emphasis will be placed on digitisation of TTPost’s services and the mapping phase has been completed.

The Chairman said iGovTT will assist with the online transformation. He said a new post office has also been opened in Roxborough, Tobago.

Minister Gonzales said it was an honour to speak at the commissioning of a new project and felt good that TTPost was demonstrating its ability to improve its services to customers and financial viability, but the corporation must have a new business model.

“The structure that you have is outdated and it cannot support your new business model,” he warned.

The Minister said he was disappointed in TTPost’s Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) as it did not reflect new initiatives.

“I saw improvement in your infrastructure your buildings etc. but whilst that is good it is not going to improve and increase the income streams,” he said.

Gonzales said he looks forward to 2022 being a very active year for TTPost and wants a PSIP that will point to a renewed organisation going forward.

“With new products and new services…it is well within your capacity,” he said.

But TTPost was not the only public utility company the minister said would be making improvements soon as the minister said they have set out to transform the water sector, Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) and the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company (SWMCOL).