The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) recently revealed that a total of 234 public enterprises have so far been successfully transformed through the privatisation, commercialisation and concession of assets.
This was disclosed in a statement on Tuesday by Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), after his public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation of Government Assets, on Monday.
The BPE boss also called for an audit of all government assets that have been concessioned or privatised.
What the BPE boss said
Mr Okoh agreed with Nigeria’s Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, that not all public assets needed to be privatized, citing that assets that should be privatized need robust legislative guidance.
“We are in a precarious situation. The country has only recently emerged from recession following the destructive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, the resultant constraints in the fiscal space are still very much evident.
“Our debt stock is rising while our revenue is declining. This trend becomes more worrisome when considered against certain key economic indices,” he stated.
He revealed that Nigeria’s debt to gross domestic product ratio is on average 34 per cent, which is higher than the international threshold of 30 per cent, highlighting Nigeria’s debt service to revenue ratio is 98 per cent, which is above the 22.5 per cent World Bank threshold.
He however urged that there is still the possibility of emerging from this dark tunnel and into the light of economic prosperity by seeking to put in place a credible and robust mechanism to reset and reform the economy, especially a robust asset optimisation and public, private partnership framework, to attract private capital into infrastructure development, thereby stimulating economic growth.
“From inception to date, a total of 234 public enterprises have been successfully reformed by way of privatisation, commercialisation and in some cases, concession,” he stated, citing that telecom privatisation in Nigeria has been a major success.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said it is important for Nigeria to act decisively to put in place a legal framework for Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) stating that the legal framework would allow the government to collaborate with the private sector to meet Nigeria’s public infrastructure demands and also ensure that the country maximises the value potential of existing assets.
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported in July that the BPE announced that Quest Electricity Nigeria Ltd has paid the sum of N19 billion to acquire Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC). They added that Quest Electricity plans to invest N28 billion into YEDC to improve operations.
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