BPE to raise N300bn for Budget 2018 funding

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The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) will generate over N300 billion from privatisation and commercialisation to support the 2018 budget financing, its Director-General Dr Alex Okoh has said.

Okoh spoke in Lagos at the Stakeholders Media Interactive Forum organised by the Enterprise and the Stakeholders Engagement Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (SEC-NCP).

The BPE plans to generate N300 billion into the 2018 budget through the sale of some national assets, such as the Afam Power Plant in Rivers State, Geregu, Calabar and Omotosho National Independent Power Projects, re-privatisation of the Yola Distribution Company, River Basin Development Authorities and the National Parks.

Some of the transactions in the pipeline include the concession of Warri Old Port, the reconcession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, the sale of Afam Power Plant and three National Independent Power Projects.

The DG explained that the BPE recently concluded the sale of the Federal Government’s 21 per cent interest in the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The transaction is expected to contribute over N17 billion to the national treasury.

Okoh said the process for recapitalisation of the Bank of Agriculture to create a stable financial institution that will support farmers was ongoing.

He said the government through the CBN and farmers associations would acquire 40 per cent each of the equity while the private sector would acquire 20 per cent.

Okoh said the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) would be unbundled into five commercial entities.

The BPE boss said the Enterprise was entering into new privatisation reform programme through Public Private Partnership.

He said the new reform programme targeted the utility and infrastructure sectors including railway, highways, roads, airports and the health sectors.

Okoh said 142 companies had so far been privatised since the inception of the programme.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohamed, the Chairman of SEC-NCP, who chaired yesterday’s event said despite the massive investment of about $100 billion in setting up some public enterprises, they have failed to live up to expectations adding that they are consuming a large proportion of resources without providing commensurate returns or services.

Mohammed added that ”More importantly, they failed to allocate their resources efficiently, even as they consumed over $3 billion annually, by way of grants, subsidies, import duty waivers, tax exemptions, etc.”

He said there are ongoing reforms and privatization in various sectors of the economy, including Communications, Development Finance Institutions, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Federal Housing Authority, National Parks and the River Basin Development Authorities.

The Power and the Postal sectors, Federal roads, Railways, National Inland Water Ways and a host of other enterprises are also slated for reforms and privatization.

The Minister said the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) had initiated and executed far reaching reforms in the Communications, Pensions, Sea Ports, Debt Management, Solid Minerals as well as the Power sector reform that led to the unbundling and privatisation of the successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

“Some of these reforms led to the establishment of both regulatory and other agencies such as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Pension Commission (PenCom), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria Electricity Liabilities Management Company (NELMCO), and the Nigeria Electricity Bulk Trader (NBET),” he said.

Mohammed said the BPE had drafted eight reform bills that, when passed, will liberalise the relevant sectors and lead to the setting up of appropriate regulatory agencies to create the much-needed conducive and enabling environment for private sector investments.

He listed the bills as the Railway Bill; the Inland Waterways Bill; the Ports and Harbour Bill; the Federal Roads Authority Bill; the National Roads Fund Bill; the National Transport Commission; the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill and the Postal Bill.

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