BPE DG reviews data of failed privatised enterprises

Posted by News Express | 26 April 2016 | 3,836 times

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The Acting Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Vincent Akpotaire, said on Monday the Bureau was reviewing the data of failed privatised enterprises, to ascertain their performance index and upscale them.

This is contained in a statement by its Head, Public Communications, Mr Alex Okoh, on Monday in Abuja.

According to the statement, his administration will 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 decried that in spite the huge success the Bureau had recorded in the reform and privatisation programme of the Federal Government, only the failed exercises were usually highlighted.

He listed the reforms in the banking, telecoms, pension, petroleum services, cement companies and hotel industries as some of the reforms carried out by the bureau.

He said that those reforms had impacted positively on the Nigerian economy but “most Nigerians do not give the Bureau the credit.”

Akpotaire said the pending reforms in the agricultural sector would create jobs for the teeming rural youth.

It would also 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.

The statement also said that the Federal Government was planning to reform the seven National Parks to become foreign exchange earners for the government in view of the dwindling revenue from oil.

Akpotaire said the Abuja Commodity Exchange would commence operations in the next nine months as soon as the Federal Government approved its privatisation.

He added that the World Bank was funding the advisory services for the effort.

The BPE boss said the sector needed a regulator to check activities of the operators of the housing sector.

“The essence is to create a housing sector where social housing will be delivered to the teeming Nigerians through a partnership involving the Federal Government, state governments and the private sector.”

In another development, Akpotaire said that the power privatisation had brought to the fore the problems inherent in the sector which hitherto were ignored.

He said the privatisation in particular had exposed the neglect in funding of the sector which led to obsolete equipment and untrained manpower.

The DG decried the attitude of ex-workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) who blocked offices of the new power owners over the non-payment of their severance benefits.

“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.

“From the over 47,000 staff of the PHCN that were duly verified and cleared, only about 1,000 of them have not been paid.

“This has to do with the documentation of the affected staff as many of them are not forthcoming with verifiable documents to aid the process.”

He stated that the Bureau was making new efforts to re-engage labour to ensure that the matter was closed. (NAN)

•Photo shows BPE Acting DG, Vincent Akpotaire.

Source: News Express

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