BPE commences review of failed privatised firms’ data

Left, Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire

Left, Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), has commenced a comprehensive review of failed privatised enterprises’ data in the country, to ascertain their respective performance indices.

The Acting Director-General of the bureau, Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire who disclosed this recently when he appeared on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)’s breakfast programme-Good Morning Nigeria, noted that the data on these enterprises had not been sufficient, hence the need for the review.

He said it was in the realisation of the objective that his administration had decided to partner with anti-graft and security agencies in the country, to carry out thorough due diligence on prospective investors willing to buy government assets.

The BPE boss regretted that despite the success the bureau had recorded in its reform and privatisation programme, only failed exercises were usually being highlighted.

He listed the reforms in the banking, telecommunications, pension, petroleum services, cement and hotel industries as some of the success stories of the bureau’s initiatives, which have impacted positively on the Nigerian economy but “which most Nigerians don’t give the bureau the credit”.

On the agricultural sector, the Akpotaire said the pending reforms would create jobs for the teeming rural youths and rejuvenate the over 380,000 hectares of land for irrigation around dams, which the Federal Government had invested in but which were substantially lying fallow.

He said that the Federal Government was planning to reform the seven national parks to become foreign exchange earner for the government, in view of the dwindling revenue from crude oil.

Akpotaire said the Abuja Commodity Exchange would commence operations in the next nine months as soon as the Federal Government gives its nod to its privatization, adding that the World Bank is funding the advisory services for the scheme.

On housing, the BPE boss said the sector needs a regulator to check activities of the operators and that talks were in top gear with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing for the realisation of the objective. The essence, according to him, is to ensure that social housing will be delivered to the teeming Nigerians through a partnership involving the federal and state governments; and the private sector.

In another development, the Acting Director General has said that the power privatization has brought to the fore the problems inherent in the sector which hitherto were ignored.

Speaking on Business Morning, a Channels Television programme on Thursday, Akpotaire said the privatisation in particular, had exposed the neglect in funding of the sector, which led obsolete equipment and untrained manpower.

The Acting DG decried the attitude of ex-workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) who picketed offices of the new power owners over the non-payment of their severance benefits, saying “these owners have no business with the ex-PHCN workers as the entire money realised from the sale of the power assets was committed to pay their severance”.



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