The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has said that the privitisation of public enterprises in the country has freed up over $3 billion consumed by Public Enterprises (PE) annually.
According to the Director General of, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, the money freed are in terms of subventions, waivers, and unpaid taxes, among others.
Okoh disclosed this at a dinner/award night in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the reform, commercialisation and privatisation in Nigeria in Abuja.
According to him, the programme was not designed to share the country’s national assets to a few rich people as erroneously believed.
A statement by BPE’s Head, Public Communications, Amina Tukur Othman, qouted Okoh as saying that in the execution of its mandate, the agency is reforming and privatising for the benefit of Nigeria’s economic recovery and the social wellbeing of her citizens.
He said: “We are not replacing public monopolies with private monopolies. Rather, in our determination to be unyielding and uncompromising in the pursuit of the best interest of this country, we are removing the financial burden which these enterprises constitute on the public purse and releasing resources for the essential functions of government.
“This essentially is the mandate given to BPE, to pursue this vision, thereby contributing to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”
Continuing, Okoh said: “The private sector has thus been positioned through these reforms to become the engine room of economic activities and infrastructural development, while government is being released to focus on governance and creating an enabling environment for business to thrive.
“A less known but very important aspect of the BPE programme with far-reaching impact has been the reform of sectors to provide the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.”
The BPE boss further stated that the Bureau has initiated and executed far-reaching reforms in telecommunications, pensions, sea ports, debt management, solid minerals, and most recently, the power sector reform that led to the successful unbundling, privatisation and in some cases, concessioning of the successor companies created out of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
He also disclosed that at presently, the programme consists of reform, commercialisation and privatisation in various sectors of the economy including aviation, development finance, postal sector, downstream oil and gas, and a host of other initiatives.
“It also consists of major infrastructure areas like roads, railways, airports, national inland waterways and the special economic or free-trade zones,” Okoh said.
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