…Says 53 out of 143 performing poorly
Uche Usim; Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Thursday announced plans to generate N400 billion from the privatisation and concession of six Federal Government enterprises, including Afam Power, NIPOST and four others this year.
The N400 billion, according to BPE, is part of its funding for the 2018 budget, which it ought to generate.
The Director General of BPE, Mr. Alex A. Okoh, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the 2018 work plan of the agency on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, of the 143 enterprises privatised by the bureau, 37 per cent (about 53) of them are performing below optimum level. He cited macroeconomic issues, fiscal issues and policy summersault as the plausible reasons for their wobbling performance.
He, however, said the bureau was not turning a blind eye on such enterprises as plans were afoot to get them working optimally.
“We are looking at how to address the issues we discovered that are responsible for their non-performance.
“It’s not true that BPE has come to the end of its activities. The assets in the economy belong to the government. The Privatisation Act allows the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to add or remove from the privatisation schedule list. The schedule list of enterprises you have are not in any way exhaustive. From time to time, government in its wisdom could add more assets or remove from the schedule. We do not believe we are the end of our activities,” the DG said.
The privatisation programme, he noted, has attracted $7.8 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into 53 enterprises within 18 years.
Okoh said that the current initiatives embarked upon by the bureau were aimed at positively impacting the Nigerian economy in areas of power generation and supply, improvement in overall infrastructure, job creation, food security and human capital development leading to the overall economic growth of the country.
He listed the initiatives to include the privatisation of Afam Power Plant, concessioning of Terminal ‘B’ Warri Old Port, restructuring and recapitalisation of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA), partial commercialisation of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) and the restructuring/commercialisation of three River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs).
Others are the partial commercialisation of three selected national parks, re-privatisation of Yola Disco, power sector recovery initiative and development of data management framework for the power sector.
Okoh revealed that paucity of funds was also an impediment to the attainment of some of the objectives of the BPE as “the treasury of the Federal Government is becoming leaner in view of competing demands and dwindling government revenues.”
He said the government was determined to deepen the participation of the private sector in the Nigerian economy to attract quality foreign investors and capital.