Mr. Alex Okoh, the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, revealed on Tuesday that a total of 142 public enterprises of the Federal Government have been sold to private sector operators.
Speaking while receiving the House of Representatives Committee on Privatization in his Abuja office on Tuesday, Okoh said only 90 of the assets sold since government’s privatisation programme have fared well.
The BPE DG said 52 (35%) of the enterprises sold are performing woefully because of “the operating business environment in the country in which many private or privatised public enterprises have either closed down or relocated to neighbouring countries.”
Okoh, who spoke in a statement by BPE’s Head of Public Communications, Amina Othman, equally revealed that only 94 of the 142 government enterprises sold were being monitored by the agency.
He said this was because “some (of the enterprises) were either assets sale or in the first phase of privatisation and as such did not fall within the BPE’s monitoring purview”.
Okoh said, “63 (of the enterprises) were sold through core investor sale, nine through guided liquidation, one through sale to existing shareholders, five through public offer and two, through liquidation. He added that eight were privatised through private placement, 41 through concession, two through debt/equity swap and 11 through sale of assets.”
The BPE DG further gave a breakdown of the assets sold by sector as, “five in the agric mechanisation; eight in automobiles, seven in banking and insurance, six in brick making and six in the cement sector.”
He said “10 were in energy construction and services; 12 in hotels and tourism; eight in oil and gas; four in paper & packaging; 19 in solid minerals and mining, seven in steel and aluminium; four in the sugar sector, 26 in marine transport sector; 19 in power and one in telecoms.”
Okoh said in order to determine why the 52 sold assets were performing woefully, the BPE had commenced a thorough review of the non-performing enterprises.
According to him, the BPE had embarked on a couple of initiatives which include “the Afam Power Plc, concessioning of the Terminal B of the Warri old Port, restructuring and commercialisation of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), partial commercialisation of NIPOST, restructuring and commercialisation of 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs), reform and commercialisation of three of the nation’s national parks and other initiatives in the power sector.”
Speaking earlier on why the House committee visited the BPE, Alhaji Ahmed Yerima said his team visited the Bureau to know about its activities; “and to ascertain its compliance with the provisions of the 2017 Appropriation Act in line with the resolution of the House that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) complied with the Act.”