The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has set a target of N496,848,538,672 billion as revenue that would be generated from the privatisation of some national assets to support the financing of Nigeria’s national budget this year.
The fund is expected to come from the completion of the privatisation process of some 36 national projects.
Director-general of the agency in charge of privatisation of some government-owned enterprises, Alex Okoh, said the central government does not currently have any plan to privatise the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
He acknowledged that transmission was the weak link in the power reform as of today.
Okoh said this at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday ahead of the global investors’ forum. The forum is being organised to showcase investment opportunities in Africa.
BPE Restates Readiness To Sell 5 Power Plants
“TCN is for reform. The idea is to think outside the box and bring in solutions that will make the transmission component service the value chain, and make it more efficient. The most feasible option is to attract private sector investment.
“Government is not thinking of privatising, it is thinking of ways and means that the private capital can be brought into the transmission component without giving out the ownership of the Transmission Company of Nigeria,” said BPE’s director, energy department, Mr Yunana Malo.
Malo said the Bureau would concession the transmission segment, “so that we can have somebody building the high tension lines, covering areas that have not been reached or to maintain the existing ones to get maximum value, to move from the radial system we have today into a mesh.
“So the idea is not to privatise but to reform and make it efficient, bringing in private sector operational modalities within the transmission company.”
The BPE DG explained that the agency has dropped the plan to privatise the nation’s four refineries. The initial plan was for the federal government to privatise the refineries. The BPE had said there was no need for the government to put in more money into the maintenance of government-owned refineries, especially, given the fact that private investors like Dangote were already going into the space.
“Dangote is looking at producing about 650,000 refining capacity. While our refining capacity as a government is not even up to 100,000. You are going into a space where competition almost killed you. So, we felt we should privatise. But NNPC believes that the plants can be rehabilitated and they have gotten government approval and rehabilitate the refineries. So we have dropped the privatisation for 2021 plan,” the DG said.
Mr Okoh also disclosed that the privatisation process of Ajaokuta Steel company was being delayed by litigations without which he said the company cannot be privatised.
For Ajaokuta Steel company, he said, “it’s a very complex issue.” According to the BPE DG, there are negotiations that are currently being held with GINL who are the original concessionaires of Ajaokuta Steel.
“It’s a very complex problem to untangle. Without divulging too many details, I can say we are close to resolving the issues, especially the litigation.
we can then go ahead to take a decision on what to do with Ajaokuta Steel,” he stated.