Nigeria Targets N300Bn From Privatization Exercise This Year..To Sell Key Power Facilities 

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Yemisi Izuora 

The BPE Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, has said the BPE is anticipating to generate N300 billion into the 2018 budget
through the sale of some national assets.

Oko who made the disclosure in Lagos on Monday, at a Stakeholders’ Media Interactive Forum on the privatization programme of the Federal Government, said the assets include the Afam Power Plant in Rivers State, Geregu, Calabar and Omotosho National Independent Power Projects, re-privatization of the Yola Distribution Company, River Basin Development Authorities and the National Parks.

So far, he said 142 companies have been privatized since the inception of the privatization programme.

Earlier, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said
the Federal Government is implementing critical reforms and
privatization in key sectors of the economy to address the abysmal
failure of public enterprises and halt the drain on the treasury.

The Minister, who is the Chairman of the Stakeholders’ Engagement
Committee of the National Council on Privatization (NCP), complained that despite the massive investments of about $100 billion in
setting up these public enterprises, they have failed to live up to
expectations, consuming a large proportion of resources without
providing commensurate returns or services.

”More importantly, they failed to allocate their resources
efficiently, even as they consumed over $3 billion annually,
by way of grants, subsidies, import duty waivers, tax exemptions,
etc,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

He said there are ongoing reforms and privatization in various sectors
of the economy, including Communications, Development Finance
Institutions, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, Federal Mortgage Bank
of Nigeria, Federal Housing Authority, National Parks and the River
Basin Development Authorities.

The Power and the Postal sectors, Federal roads, Railways, National
Inland Water Ways and a host of other enterprises are also slated for
reforms and privatization.

The Minister said the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) had initiated
and executed far-reaching reforms in the Communications, Pensions, Sea
Ports, Debt Management, Solid Minerals as well as the Power sector
reform that led to the unbundling and privatisation of the successor
companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

“Some of these reforms led to the establishment of both regulatory and
other agencies such as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),
Pension Commission (PenCom), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory
Commission (NERC), Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria Electricity
Liabilities Management Company (NELMCO), and the Nigeria Electricity
Bulk Trader (NBET),” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said the BPE has drafted eight reform bills that, when
passed, will liberalise the relevant sectors and lead to the setting
up of appropriate regulatory agencies to create the much-needed
conducive and enabling environment for private sector investments.

He listed the bills as the Railway Bill; the Inland Waterways Bill;
the Ports and Harbour Bill; the Federal Roads Authority Bill; the
National Roads Fund Bill; the National Transport Commission; the
Competition and Consumer Protection Bill and the Postal Bill.

The Minister sought the buy-in of the media for the reform and
privatisation programme in order to assuage the mixed feelings the
reform has generated as well as restore public confidence in the
programme.

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