The National Council on Privatisation, NCP, has since its inception 18 years ago concluded the privatisation and reform of over 142 public enterprises, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said on Thursday.
The acting president was speaking at the inauguration of the fifth council of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) since the enactment of the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act 1999.
Some of the key transactions the NCP had concluded and carried out economic reform activities in key sectors of the economy include telecommunications, pension management, ports, power, etc.
He said the inauguration of the NCP is a critical step in the process to establish the institutional framework necessary for the actualization of the socio-economic agenda of the present administration.
“The inauguration of the Council is a demonstration of our administration’s commitment to public sector reform and the central role of the NCP in this process,” he said.
The acting president said although the public sector has been at the central stage in the provision of critical infrastructure and services across all sectors of the country’s economy since independence, the emerging importance and centrality of the private sector to the actualization of the economic agenda of the administration should not be downplayed.
Apart from playing a dominant role of generating employment opportunities, he said the intervention of the private sector enhances the process of industrialization, by delivering critical infrastructure and services in the country.
He said the role could only be unleashed when government’s role of regulating and creating an enabling environment was robustly undertaken, to offer the private sector the required environment to make investments and expect a reasonable return thereon.
The acting president said the administration was committed to giving required support to the NCP to carry out its statutory responsibilities, while the NCP was expected to develop creative solutions to addressing the challenges facing the privatisation and commercialisation programme.
He identified the challenges to include non-performance by some privatized enterprises and post-privatisation challenges facing some of them.
“The Government also expects the NCP to make measurable progress in respect of the outstanding transactions affecting some of the areas critical to the economic recovery of the nation. You must make deliberate and conscious efforts to learn from past experiences and guard against avoidable mistakes of the past,” he said.
“A mega reform process in the power sector is ongoing with ambitious expectations. The NCP is expected to critically analyse these challenges and come up with sustainable solutions as part of government commitment to make power available at accelerated rates and to wide sections of the populace,” the acting President said
The Director-General of the BPE, Alex Okoh, noted a recent trend where certain institutions engage in activities that tend to compromise and conflict with the statutory functions of the Bureau.
He said the agency and commissions should manage regulatory compliance and not get involved in processes as transactions managers or operators, so as not create confusion and possible conflict.
The BPE, Mr. Okoh explained, as transaction managers shall submit its processes to the supervision of the relevant regulatory agency responsible for the particular transaction track it pursue, to execute its mandate of enterprise reformation, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC.
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